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VOL.  I. 


MAUNSEL    &    CO.,    LIMITED 

LONDON  :   A.    H.    BULLEN 



I  OWE  my  acquaintance  with  these  Memoirs  to  Mr. 
John  Dillon,  who  spoke  of  them  as  the  best  of  all 
books  dealing  with  Ireland ;  and  a  reading  of  the 
volumes  left  me  inclined  to  agree  with  him.  The  in- 
trinsic interest  of  Byrne's  narrative,  its  easy  unaffected 
flow,  and  above  all  the  high  and  chivalrous  temper  which 
pervades  the  whole,  give  it  an  excellence,  rare  any- 
where, but  which  in  all  the  bitter  records  of  Irish  warfare 
is  without  parallel.  No  man  could  have  subjects  more 
painful  than  the  Wexford  Rebellion  and  Emmet's 
rising ;  no  man  could  have  handled  them  more  frankly, 
whether  in  stating  facts  or  in  judgments  upon  conduct. 
Yet  of  all  books  dealing  with  modern  Irish  history  this 
is  the  least  painful  to  read  that  is  known  to  me. 

But  Byrne's  Memoirs  were  not  only  concerned  with 
Irish  rebellion ;  he  wrote  as  a  veteran  who  had  seen 
war  in  half  the  countries  of  Europe.  The  title  of  the 
original  edition  is 

"  Memoirs  of  Miles  Byrne.  Chef  de  Bataillon  in  the 
Service  of  France :  Officer  of  the  Legion  of  Honour, 
Knight  of  St.  Louis,  etc.  Edited  by  his  Widow.  Paris  : 
Bossange  et  Cie.  1863." 

A  brief  sketch  of  his  career  will  best  explain  the  nature 
of  the  Memoirs. 



In  1798  Miles  Byrne  was  a  young  and  well-to-do 
farmer  at  Monaseed  on  the  northern  border  of  county 
Wexford.  He  was  a  sworn  United  Irishman,  and,  before 
the  rebellion  actually  broke  out,  was  in  hiding.  From 
the  first  raising  of  the  standard  he  was  active,  but  his 
narrative  leaves  us  in  doubt  by  what  deeds  of  bravery 
he  attained  to  the  position  of  leader;  no  soldier  was 
ever  more  modest  After  fighting  through  the  whole 
series  of  actions,  he  led  a  body  into  the  Wicklow  hills, 
where  he  and  his  held  out  along  with  Holt  and  Dwyer 
till  the  general  dispersal  which  took  place  on  the  news 
of  Humbert's  surrender.  Byrne  made  his  way  to 
Dublin,  and  found  means  to  conceal  himself  and  gradu- 
ally to  find  occupation  in  supervising  a  builder's  work- 
men. Four  years  passed  by  and  he  had  nothing  to 
apprehend ;  yet  when  Robert  Emmet  came  to  Dublin 
in  the  winter  of  1802-3,  Byrne  promptly  associated  him- 
self in  the  new  peril  The  story  of  that  unhappy 
enterprise  is  nowhere  so  clearly  and  consistently  told 
as  in  these  Memoirs ;  and  whoever  else  may  slight  the 
memory  of  Emmet,  Byrne,  the  soldier  of  Napoleon, 
looking  back  from  a  long  life's  experience,  offers  more 
heartfelt  homage  to  this  ill-starred  leader  than  to  any 
of  the  great  men  whose  names  figure  in  his  record. 

When  the  rising  had  failed,  Emmet  made  his  way 
back  to  Dublin  and  asked  Byrne  to  carry  news  to  the 
United  Irishmen  in  Paris.  This  service  of  danger  was 


faithfully  performed,  and  the  exile  found  himself  among 
a  group  of  Irishmen,  all  in  the  same  unhappy  situation, 
yet  all  hoping  for  another  French  invasion  in  which  they 
should  take  part.  Their  hopes  ran  high  when  they  were 
formed  into  the  cadre  or  skeleton  of  a  regiment 
which  should  be  filled  up  with  men  when  they  landed 
in  Ireland,  and  were  sent  to  be  trained  on  the  Breton 
coast.  But  months  and  years  passed,  and  when  the 
Irish  Legion  was  called  into  service  and  its  ranks  filled 
up,  the  service  was  on  the  Continent.  In  the  Low 
Countries,  in  the  Spanish  Peninsula,  on  the  Elbe,  and 
on  the  Rhine,  Byrne  and  his  comrades  fought  for  Napo- 
leon, till  the  great  general's  star  set  finally  in  disaster. 
Then  they — or  what  was  left  of  them — were  dismissed 
the  French  service,  for  the  Bourbons  were  naturally 
eager  to  pleasure  the  Court  of  England  Some  were 
actually  banished  from  France ;  some,  more  fortunate, 
had  leave  to  remain  on  half-pay,  and  of  the  latter 
Byrne  was  one. 

But  in  1830  the  revolution  which  dethroned  Charles 
X.  brought  better  days  for  Miles  Byrne.  He  was  not 
only  recalled  to  full  pay,  and  given  the  rank  of  chef  de 
bataillon  (equivalent  to  lieutenant-colonel)  which  had 
been  promised  him  under  Napoleon,  but  he  was  at  once 
actively  employed,  and  in  the  cause  of  freedom.  He  held 
a  high  command  in  the  first  expedition  despatched  for 
the  liberation  of  Greece. 


For  many  years  after  this  he  was  an  ordinary  regi- 
mental officer  in  the  French  army ;  these  Memoirs  were 
the  occupation  of  his  leisure  after  he  had  finally  retired, 
and  the  latter  part  of  them  was  clearly  never  finished. 
The  book,  as  it  originally  appeared,  was  edited  by  Mrs. 
Byrne,  and  it  made  three  volumes,  of  which  the  first 
was  occupied  with  the  description  of  his  experiences  of 
rebellion  in  Ireland,  while  the  second  gave  an  admir- 
able narrative  of  his  campaigns  under  Buonaparte,  in- 
cluding the  whole  history  of  Napoleon's  Irish  Legion 
from  its  formation  to  its  dissolution.  These  two  volumes 
aie  evidently  as  their  author  intended  them  to  be.  The 
third  is  little  more  than  loose  leaves  from  a  notebook — 
but  a  notebook  full  of  interesting  material.  Opening 
with  an  account  of  Byrne's  own  life  in  Paris  before  the 
formation  of  the  Legion,  it  passes  into  a  general  char- 
acterisation of  the  Irish  exiles  then  in  France.  The 
account  of  the  Greek  campaign  is  fragmentary ;  and 
there  is  a  good  deal  of  repetition  and  defective  arrange- 

In  the  present  edition  the  eleven  hundred  odd  pages 
of  the  original  have  been  reduced  into  the  compass  of 
two  volumes;  and  even  so  the  book  remains  so  large 
that  it  has  seemed  best  to  add  nothing  by  way  of  illus- 
trative comment.  My  task  as  editor,  then,  has  reduced 
itself  to  seeing  the  pages  through  the  press,  correcting 
the  spelling  of  proper  names,  suppressing  actual  repre- 


titions,  and  here  and  there  altering  the  arrangement. 
I  have  dealt  a  little  more  freely  with  the  third  volume, 
omitting  here  and  there  what  seemed  to  lack  interest. 
But  care  has  been  taken  to  leave  in  full  Byrne's  judg- 
ment on  the  men  with  whom  he  served  or  whom  he 
met  during  his  residence  in  Paris ;  for  nothing  is  more 
remarkable  in  the  book  than  the  clearness  and  justice 
of  perception  which  these  judgments  display.  Byrne's 
mind  was  neither  subtle  nor  brilliant ;  but  it  was  evi- 
dently rich  in  common  sense,  an  it  combined  generosity 
with  a  rigorous  conception  of  honour  and  principle. 

As  a  soldier,  he  seems  to  have  been  the  very  type 
of  a  regimental  officer,  whose  place  is  in  the  fighting 
Hne,  whose  concern  is  not  with  the  general  conduct  of 
a  campaign  or  an  action,  but  who  can  be  trusted  to  act 
boldly,  decisively  and  intelligently  in  the  individual  cir- 
cumstances of  war.  His  book  throughout  makes  one 
feel  the  most  agreeable  and  most  human  aspect  of 
warfare — the  generous  relations  between  man  and  man, 
the  cordiality  of  comradeship,  the  interludes  of  gaiety 
and  good-humoured  pleasure— better  than  any  other 
known  to  me  except  the  admirable  autobiography  which 
General  Sir  George  Napier  wrote,  to  tell  his  children 
how  he  and  his  brothers  and  their  brothers  in  arms 
fought  in  the  Peninsula  "for  fun  and  glory." 

But  there  one  strikes  a  contrast  and  a  sad  one. 
Byrne  was  not,  like  the  Napiers,  a  soldier  by  choice ; 


necessity  and  unjust  dominion  drove  him  from  his  farm- 
He  and  his  comrades  were  the  descendants  of  the 
Wild  Geese — "war-dogs  battered  in  every  clime," 
fighters  in  every  cause  but  their  own.  His  book  gives 
an  extraordinary  picture  of  the  dispersion  of  his  race : 
Irish  names  figure  in  it  under  every  flag  in  Europe. 
And  the  book  is  naturally  pervaded  from  first  to  last 
with  a  fierce  resentment,  the  exile's  anger  against  those 
who  keep  him  from  his  home,  against  those  who  hold 
his  native  country  in  subjection.  Byrne  and  his  com- 
rades fight  for  France  against  England  with  more  than 
a  Frenchman's  detestation  of  the  enemy.  Is  this  to 
be  wondered  at  ? 

To  those  Irishmen  who  know  the  book  this  publica- 
tion will  need  little  commendation.  To  those  who  do 
not,  it  may  be  said  that  it  is  a  trial  whether  it  be  pos- 
sible to  find  a  public  ready  to  buy  reprints  of  books 
which  have  a  high  value  in  the  study  of  Irish  history, 
and  which  having  passed  out  of  general  circulation,  are 
only  to  be  had  at  a  high  price ;  and  upon  the  success  of 
this  venture  must  depend  the  subsequent  undertaking  of 
similar  publications. 


Contents  of  Volume  I. 


INTRODUCTION                                                           „  ...  iii 


WEXFORD  IN  1796  «  i 


PREPARATIONS  FOR  THE  GENERAL  RISING            ..  ..  21 

FREE  QUARTERS,  AND  EXECUTIONS                        ..  ..  22 

OUTBREAK  OF  RISING  IN  CARLOW                          . .  . .  28 

FATHER  MURPHY'S  SUCCESS  AT  OULART               ..  ..  33 

CAPTURE  OF  ENNISCORTHY                                       ..  ...  42 

MILITARY  REFLECTIONS                                            _  .,.  46 


CAMP  ON  VINEGAR  HILL  ..  ..  52 





DIVISION  OF  FORCES  . .  . .  63 


RETURN  TO  CAMP  ON  VINEGAR  HILL  . .  . .  68 



BATTLE  OF  ARKLOW  . .  . . 




RETREAT  TO  WEXFORD  ..  ..  13  3 







BYRNE  RETURNS  HOME  ••  ••  174 

MARCH  NORTHWARDS  ••  ••  176 



BLOODY  FRIDAY,  22ND  JUNE  ••  *9o 


BATTLE  OF  BALLYGULLEN,  JULY  4  ..  ..  205 




STAY  IN  GLENMALCRE  ..  ..  223 

HUMBERT'S  LANDING  ..  ••  235 




MEETING  WITH  EMMET  . .  . .  249 





NIGHT  OF  THE  RISING.     ITS  FAILURE  . .  . .  277 



ARRIVAL  IN  BORDEAUX  . .  . .  296 




FORMATION  OF  IRISH  LEGION  ..  ..  ..318 


OF  1798. 


VARIOUS  circumstances  occur  almost  daily  which  remind 
me  that  I  should  leave  some  notes  respecting  the  part 
I  was  forced  to  take  in  the  struggles  of  my  unfortunate 
country  after  the  year  1796,  when  the  people  expected 
to  be  able  through  the  United  Irish  system  to  accom- 
plish their  independence.  I  say  "  forced,"  because  it 
was  impossible  to  remain  neutral.  I  may  give  as  a 
proof  the  fate  of  my  unfortunate  first  cousin,  Pat  Breen, 
and  his  father,  Terence  Breen,  both  shot  in  cold  blood 
by  the  Ancient  Britons,  accompanied  by  the  yeomen  of 
the  county,  and  in  the  presence  of  my  aunt  and  her 
daughters.  My  cousin,  Miles  Breen,  was  saved  only  on 
account  of  his  youth,  he  being  but  16  years  of  age: 
but  he  was  sent  on  board  a  transport  ship  in  the  harbour 
of  Dublin.  Yet  neither  my  uncle  nor  his  son  ever 
fought  in  the  ranks  of  the  Insurgents,  nor  left  their 
homes — unluckily  for  them !  Had  they  followed  the 
people's  camp  they  might  have  escaped  the  cruel  end  of 
being  put  to  death  in  the  presence  of  all  that  were 
dear  to  them,  without  judge  or  jury. 

Thomas  Knox  Grogan,  of  Castletown,  having  served 
in  the  Green  Horse,  received  a  commission  from  Govern- 
ment in  the  end  of  1/96  to  raise  a  corps  of  yeomen 
cavalry.  Possessing  two  estates,  Monaseed  and  Castle- 
town,  he  found  no  difficulty  in  getting  men  well 
mounted  amongst  his  tenants,  who  enrolled  themselves 


with  pleasure,  for  it  was  difficult  to  find  a  more  upright, 
honourable  man,  though  he  was  not  very  well  fitted  for 
command,  being  subject  to  the  gout.  Sir  Thomas 
Esmonde,  of  Ballinastra,  was  first  lieutenant ;  Laurence 
Doyle,  his  first  cousin,  second  lieutenant;  Murt 
Murnagh,  of  Little  Limerick,  adjutant.  The  last  was 
my  near  relation.  Seeing  several  of  my  best  friends 
and  school-fellows,  such  as  Nick  Murphy,  of  Monaseed  ; 
Ned  Fennell,  of  Deerpark;  John  Doyle  and  his 
brother  James,  of  Knock,  and  my  aunt's  husband 
Michael  Morning,  all  sending  their  names  to  Captain 
Knox  Grogan,  I  readily  consented  to  leave  mine,  but 
added  my  mother  would  not  consent  until  she  got  the 
lease  of  the  land  called  the  Fox  Cover  renewed  She 
could  never  forget  what  she  suffered  a  few  years  previous 
when  leaving  Ballylusk,  the  townland  and  place  where 
I  was  born,  and  which  had  been  in  the  family  for  cen- 
turies :  she  could  not  get  the  lease  of  that  place  renewed, 
as  the  landlord  (J.  Doyle)  wished  to  come  and  live  on 
it  himself.  Catholics  could  only  get  then  leases  of 
thirty-one  years.  Mr.  Grogan  at  once  complied  with 
my  mother's  wishes,  and  had  the  leases  filled  up  im- 
mediately with  three  lives — mine,  my  sister  Bridget's, 
and  my  first  cousin's,  Miles  Morning.  The  latter  was 
then  about  fifteen  years  of  age.  He  died  a  few  years 
after.  My  poor  father  was  then  sick  and  confined  to  his 

After  Mr.  Grogan  had  signed  the  leases,  in  the  pre- 
sence of  my  uncle  Morning  and  his  land-agent,  Jackson, 
he  requested  these  gentlemen  to  accompany  my  mother 
to  Monaseed,  a  distance  of  six  miles  from  Castletown, 
in  order  for  my  father  to  sign  them  in  their  presence. 
My  mother  was  quite  happy  at  having  this  business 
settled,  and  expected  it  would  cheer  my  poor  father's 
spirits.  She  was  cruelly  disappointed.  For,  when  she 
told  him  I  was  enrolled  in  the  corps  of  yeomanry,  with 


all  my  friends  and  comrades,  he  declared  "  he  would 
rather  see  the  leases  burned  and  me  dead  than  ever  see 
me  put  on  a  red  coat."  I  was  then  very  young,  and  the 
pang  I  felt  left  me  motionless  for  some  time.  All  he 
had  so  often  told  me  of  the  persecutions  and  robberies 
that  both  his  family  and  my  mother's  had  endured  under 
the  English  invaders  came  to  my  recollection.  How 
often  had  he  shown  me  the  lands  that  belonged  to  our 
ancestors  now  in  the  hands  of  the  descendants  of  the 
sanguinary  followers  of  Cromwell,  who  preserved  their 
plunder  and  robberies  after  the  restoration  of  that 
scoundrel  Charles  II !  My  poor  father  was  low-spirited 
and  pining  in  consequence  of  the  death,  a  short  time 
before,  of  my  sister  Katherine  ;  she  was  everything  that 
was  beautiful,  intelligent,  and  good,  and  extraordinary 
for  her  age,  being  but  eighteen.  My  father  did  not 
long  survive  her.  He  died  in  a  few  months  after  the 
period  I  allude  to ;  and  if  I  did  not  follow  all  his  last 
injunctions,  I  at  least  conformed  with  one — I  never  wore 
a  red  coat.  On  my  father's  demise,  being  an  only  son, 
and  my  presence  being  necessary  to  take  charge  of  the 
land,  Captain  Knox  Grogan  had  my  name  taken  off  the 
roll  of  the  yeomanry. 

Every  exertion  was  made  by  Government  to  get 
yeomanry  corps  organized  throughout  the  country,  but 
scarce  any  were  equipped  or  armed  when  Hoche's  expedi- 
tion appeared  off  Bantry  Bay,  in  December,  1796.  But 
the  following  year  they  were  raised  and  embodied  in 
every  part  of  the  counties  of  Wexford,  Wicklow,  and 
Carlow.  These  are  the  counties  I  know  best,  and 
where  I  had  many  friends.  The  corps  generally 
assembled  for  drill  twice  a  week,  and  these  meetings 
frequently  were  terminated  with  dinner  parties  and  other 

Had  Hoche's  army  corps  (consisting  of  about  15,000 
men)  landed,  as  there  was  then  no  English  force  in 


Ireland,  nothing  could  have  prevented  them  marching 
on  Dublin  and  establishing  there  a  provisional  govern- 
ment. Everywhere  he  would  have  been  joined  by  the 
people.  Then  in  place  of  yeomanry,  Lord  Edward 
Fitzgerald,  Arthur  O'Connor,  and  Wolfe  Tone  would 
have  been  charged  to  organize  national  guards  to  keep 
order  in  the  towns  and  villages  throughout  the  country, 
whilst  waiting  to  raise  a  national  army  or  militia  for  its 
defence.  As  to  men,  a  hundred  thousand  could  have 
been  enrolled  at  once.  With  the  20,000  stand  of  arms 
brought  by  the  French,  and  the  arms  found  everywhere, 
they  would  soon  have  been  equipped.  The  country 
possessed  all  the  resources  necessary  for  this  great  under- 
taking. The  Church  property  becoming  immediately 
the  property  of  the  State,  and  the  estates  of  all  those 
who  should  emigrate  or  remain  in  the  English  army, 
fighting  against  their  country,  being  confiscated,  the 
revenue  arising  from  these  funds  would  have  been 
employed  to  provide  for  and  defray  all  the  expenses 
necessary  for  the  defence  and  independence  of  the 

For  fourteen  years  previous  to  this  period  the  Volun- 
teers were  well  equipped  and  armed  throughout  every 
part  of  Ireland.  Of  course  all  these  arms  were  well 
preserved,  and  would  be  delivered  up  immediately  to  the 
governors  of  the  different  provinces  if  the  actual  posses- 
sors did  not  come  forward  to  make  use  of  them  them- 
selves. But  the  Protestant  counties  of  the  North  were 
all  organized  and  ready  to  shake  off  the  English  yoke. 
The  United  Inshmen  and  the  Presbyterians,  whether 
they  were  United  Irishmen  or  not,  were  all  republicans. 
They  knew  that  Hoche  came  not  for  conquest,  but  to 
afford  them  an  occasion  for  declaring  their  right  to  self- 
government  ;  therefore  all  the  North  would  have  joined 
him  at  once.  As  to  the  South,  it  being  a  Catholic 
country,  though  the  United  Irish  system  was  scarcely 


known  there  at  that  time,  the  people  everywhere  sighed 
for  that  equality  of  civil  and  religious  liberty  so  long 
refused  to  them,  and  so  insultingly  refused  by  that 
great  bigot  Lord  Charlemont  and  by  Henry  Flood. 
The  immortal  Grattan  was  for  the  full  and  complete 
emancipation  of  his  fellow-men,  though  he  counted  too 
much  on  the  guarantee  obtained  from  the  Government 
of  that  deceitful  epoch  for  the  independence  of  his  un- 
fortunate country.  The  removal  of  Lord  Fitzwilliam 
should  have  shown  him  that  there  was  nothing  to  be 
expected  but  treachery  and  infamy  from  those  who 
replaced  him. 

It  is  quite  fresh  in  my  memory,  and  I  shall  never 
forget  it,  the  mournful  silence,  the  consternation  of  the 
poor  people  at  the  different  chapels  on  Christmas  Day 
and  the  following  Sunday,  after  learning  that  the  French 
had  not  landed,  and  that  the  French  fleet  had  returned 
to  France.  Had  Hoche  been  at  the  head  of  his  troops 
in  the  Bay  of  Bantry,  instead  of  Grouchy,  he  would  have 
landed  them  immediately,  and  from  that  moment  the 
then  English  Government  was  shaken  to  its  centre. 

Hoche  knew  well  that  the  Irish  people  only  waited 
for  a  fit  opportunity  to  change  the  form  of  their  govern- 
ment, and  his  presence  in  Ireland  at  the  head  of  a 
powerful  army  afforded  them  an  excellent  one.  He  was 
determined  that  the  new  Irish  Government  should  re- 
cognize the  French  Republic,  and  allow  the  French 
people  the  right  of  choosing  that  form  which  suited  them 
best.  As  to  the  independence  of  Ireland,  that  would  be 
already  accomplished,  and  no  more  to  be  questioned. 
Such  were  the  solemn  engagements  given  to  Tone,  and 
they  would  be  renewed  with  the  provisional  government 
when  sitting  in  Dublin.  What  a  blessing  it  would  have 
been  for  humanity  had  all  this  taken  place,  and  what 
torrents  of  blood  and  treasure  it  would  have  spared  to 
England  and  the  continent  of  Europe !  But  Providence 


seems  to  have  decreed  that  Ireland  should  remain  the 
most  degraded,  the  most  miserable  country  on  the  face 
of  the  globe. 

The  principal  chiefs  of  the  United  Irish,  both  in  the 
North  and  in  the  city  of  Dublin,  did  not  yet  despond ; 
on  the  contrary,  they  prepared  an  extensive  plan  for 
organizing  all  Ireland,  and  in  the  spring  of  1797,  whilst 
Government  showed  the  greatest  activity  in  getting 
yeomanry  corps  equipped  and  armed  through  every  part 
of  the  country,  and  had  them  ready  for  active  service, 
United  Irishmen  were  made  by  thousands  daily.  No 
one  scrupled  to  take  the  test,  which  indeed  had  nothing 
in  it  treasonable  or  dishonourable.  Thomas  Addis 
Emmet  took  it  and  kissed  the  Book  in  presence  of  a 
court  of  justice  (before  which  he  was  pleading  for  a  man 
who  was  charged  with  being  a  United  Irishman),  to  show 
the  absurdity  of  wanting  to  punish  a  man  because  he 
wished  to  obtain  an  equal  and  adequate  representation 
of  Irishmen  of  every  religious  persuasion  in  Parliament. 

For  my  own  part  I  took  it  with  pleasure,  and  worked 
to  the  best  of  my  abilities  in  every  way  to  forward  the 
cause,  and  to  show  the  great  advantages  that  might  be 
obtained  by  the  union  of  Irishmen  of  all  religious  per- 
suasions; and  I  now  most  solemnly  declare,  in  the 
presence  of  the  Almighty,  that  I  never  regretted  the 
part  I  took,  and  that  if  it  were  to  be  done  over  again  I 
should  do  the  same ;  the  only  difference  would  be  that, 
from  the  experience  I  have  acquired  as  a  military  man 
(who  has  had  the  honour  to  serve  in  the  French  army), 
I  might  be  enabled  to  do  it  better.  Thus  my  confession 
of  faith  being  made,  I  shall  now  begin  to  relate  every- 
thing worth  mentioning  which  took  place  previous  to 
the  23rd  of  May,  1798,  the  day  that  was  fixed  upon  for 
a  general  rising  of  the  United  Irishmen  of  Ireland  by 
the  Directory,  then  acting  under  the  presidency  of  Lord 
Edward  Fitzgerald 


There  were  very  few  United  Irishmen  in  my  part  of 
the  country  when  I  was  made  one,  but  before  a  month 
had  elapsed  almost  every  one  had  taken  the  test,  by  the 
exertions  of  Nick  Murphy,  Johnny  Doyle,  Ned  Fennell, 
and  myself.  The  priests  did  everything  in  their  power 
to  stop  the  progress  of  the  Association  of  United  Irish-  *  .-t-^ 
men:  particularly  poor  Father  John  Redmond,  who 
refused  to  hear  the  confession  of  any  one  of  the  United 
Irish,  and  turned  them  away  from  his  knees.  He  was 
ill-requited  afterwards  for  his  great  zeal  and  devotion  to 
the  enemies  of  his  country:  for,  after  the  Insurrection 
was  ail  over,  Earl  Mountnorris  brought  him  in  a  prisoner 
to  the  British  camp  at  Gorey,  with  a  rope  about  his  neck, 
hung  him  up  to  a  tree,  and  fired  a  brace  of  bullets  through. 
his  body.  Lord  Mountnorris  availed  himself  of  this 
opportunity  to  show  his  "loyalty,"  for  he  was  rather 
suspected  on  account  of  not  being  at  the  head  of  his 
corps  when  the  Insurrection  broke  out  in  his  neighbour- 
hood. Both  Redmond  and  the  parish  priest,  Father 
Frank  Cavanagh,  were  on  the  best  terms  with  Earl 
Mountnorris,  dining  frequently  with  him  at  his  seat, 
Camolin  Park,  which  place  Father  Redmond  prevented 
being  plundered  during  the  Insurrection.  This  was  the 
only  part  he  had  taken  in  the  struggle. 

The  good  effects  of  the  United  Irish  system  in  the 
commencemeni  were  soon  felt  and  seen  throughout  the 
counties  of  Wexford,  Carlow,  and  Wicklow,  which  were 
the  parts  of  the  country  I  knew  best.  It  gave  the  first 
alarm  to  the  Government;  they  suspected  something 
extraordinary  was  going  on,  finding  that  disputes,  fight- 

fing  at  fairs  and  other  places  of  public  meeting  had 
completely  ceased.  The  magistrates  soon  perceived  this 
change,  as  they  were  now  seldom  called  on  to  grant 
summons  or  warrants  to  settle  disputes.  Drunkenness 
ceased  also ;  for  a  United  Irishman  to  be  found  drunk 
was  unknown  for  many  months.  The  man  who  had 


the  misfortune  to  drink  too  much  considered  himself 
a  lost  man  as  soon  as  he  became  sober,  fearing  that  no 
more  confidence  would  be  placed  in  him.  I  often  had 
to  console  men  who  feared  it  might  be  thought  because 
they  had  formerly  been  prone  to  drinking  that  they 
could  not  be  trusted  with  any  enterprise  of  importance. 
Such  was  the  sanctity  of  our  cause  and  the  assistance 
we  received  from  every  new  member  who  joined  our 
Society  that  we  soon  organized  parochial  and  baronial 
meetings,  and  named  delegates  to  correspond  with  the 
county  members.  Robert  Grahame,  of  Corcannon,  near 
Coolgreany,  a  cousin  of  my  mother,  was  named  to  repre- 
sent the  county  at  the  meeting  to  be  held  in  Dublin  at 
Oliver  Bond's.  He  was  too  late  for  the  meeting,  and 
indeed  had  the  good  fortune  to  escape  being  taken, 
being  apprized  in  time  that  the  house  was  surrounded 
by  soldiers  and  police. 

Anthony  Perry,  of  Inch,  was  one  of  the  first  and  most 
active  of  the  United  class.  He  being  a  Protestant,  and 
originally  from  the  North,  we  had  the  greatest  confi- 
dence in  him.  Poor  Ned  Fennell  and  I  went  frequently 
by  night  to  consult  and  get  instructions  from  him:  we 
had  to  ride  seven  miles  and  to  return  before  day.  We 
used  all  our  influence  to  prevent  the  people  going  by 
night  to  take  arms ;  they  were  anxious  to  be  prepared 
for  the  rising,  which  they  longed  much  for.  We  were 
very  successful  in  this  undertaking,  and  had  it  pro- 
pagated that  the  Orangemen  were  seizing  the  arms  in 
order  to  throw  suspicion  on  the  poor  people.  One  night 
returning  from  Inch  we  left  the  high  road  and  passed 
through  a  little  village  of  about  a  dozen  houses;  we 
passed  and  repassed  several  times,  making  a  great  noise 
with  our  horses,  and  calling  out  the  names  of  some  of 
the  well-known  chiefs  of  the  Orange  party  Next  day 
the  poor  people  of  this  hamlet  were  ready  to  make 
affidavit  that  the  Gorey  yeomanry  had  come  to  take  the 


arms  from  the  Protestant  gentlemen  of  that  neighbour- 
hood in  order  to  have  a  pretext  to  have  the  country 
proclaimed,  as  if  the  Catholic  peasantry  had  been 
seizing  the  arms.  The  people  everywhere  believed  it, 
and  it  had  the  best  effect,  for  consequently  they  gave 
up  all  idea  of  taking  arms  by  night. 

Ned  Fennell  was  bold  and  active,  and  brave  to 
temerity.  He  was  handsome  and  well  made,  and  of 
distinguished  manners,  and,  though  but  the  son  of  a 
respectable  farmer,  might  have  been  taken  for  a  man 
of  the  first  rank  in  the  country,  from  his  high  tone  and 
daring  address. 

His  elder  brother  Garret  was  also  handsome  and 
brave.  Nick  Murphy,  though  young,  inspired  great 
confidence  in  all  who  knew  him ;  he  was  active  and 
honest,  and  thought  he  never  could  do  enough  to  for- 
ward the  cause  of  the  United  Irish  system  and  in 
organizing  the  baronial  meetings ;  he  was  one  of  the 
first  to  correspond  with  the  county  members.  He  and 
I  had  been  intimate  from  childhood ;  he  was  two  years 
older  than  me,  but  we  never  had  a  secret  from  each 

A  large  quantity  of  powder  in  jars  was  confided  to' 
us  to  have  made  into  cartridges,  but  a  search  for  arms 
and  ammunition  being  ordered  by  the  magistrates,  we 
decided  at  once  to  have  it  hid  in  a  field  on  my  land. 
Lest  we  both  should  be  absent,  or  in  custody,  we  thought 
it  right  to  have  another  person  with  us,  less  likely  to  be 
arrested,  who  would  be  forthcoming  and  be  able  to  find 
the  powder  when  it  was  wanted.  We  agreed  to  com- 
municate the  secret  to  a  neighbour,  John  Sheridan,  a 
very  worthy  man,  and  who,  though  a  United  Irishman, 
could  not  be  suspected,  we  thought,  as  he  did  not  commit 
himself  to  any  but  to  Murphy  and  myself.  Notwith- 
standing, when  Murphy  and  I  were  hiding,  previous  to 
the  Insurrection,  poor  Sheridan  was  taken  up  and  on 


the  point  of  being  shot.  To  save  his  life,  he  discovered 
where  the  ammunition  was  hid,  and  it  being  found  on 
my  land,  I  had  nothing  to  expect  had  I  fallen  into  the 
hands  of  the  Orangemen.  Sheridan  did  everything  he 
could  afterwards  to  make  amends,  and  we  forgave  him ; 
he  fought  bravely  with  us  throughout  the  Insurrection, 
and  died  in  exile  after  all  was  over. 

John  Doyle,  of  Knockbrandon,  was  one  of  my 
school-fellows,  and  one  of  the  most  active  young  men 
in  the  country ;  unfortunately  he  was  killed  early  in  the 
Insurrection ;  had  he  lived,  he  would  have  been  one  of 
the  most  daring  chiefs :  he  was  wealthy  and  had  the 
greatest  influence  over  people  of  every  class. 

The  first  United  Irishman's  funeral  that  took  place, 
being  attended  by  vast  crowds,  and  put  into  sections  and 
marching  order  by  a  young  man  of  the  name  of  Toole 
(of  Annagh),  who  wished  to  imitate  one  he  had  seen  in 
Dublin,  attracted  the  notice  of  Hunter  Gowan,  and,  of 
course,  made  him  suspect  that  something  extraordinary 
was  going  on  in  the  country. 

As  I  shall  have  often  to  allude  to  the  cruelties  and 
cold-blooded  murders  committed  by  this  monster,  it  is 
necessary  to  mention  what  he  was.  He  had  for  many 
years  distinguished  himself  by  his  activity  in  apprehend- 
ing robbers,  for  which  he  had  been  rewarded  by  a  pen- 
sion from  Government.  He  was  a  low  fellow,  but  this 
pension  enabled  him  to  hold  some  rank  in  the  country. 
He  called  his  place  Mount  Nebo,  and  planted  his  land 
with  trees  of  different  kinds.  He  kept  a  pack  of 
hounds,  and  wished  to  be  looked  upon  as  a  great  sports- 
man, and  felt  much  mortified  when  the  neighbouring 
gentlemen  refused  to  hunt  with  him. 

He  happened  one  day  to  be  led  by  the  chase  some 
miles  from  his  own  place,  and  fell  in  with  old  Garrett 
Byrne,  of  Ballymanus,  who,  with  his  hounds,  was  in 
full  chase.  The  latter,  enraged  at  being  crossed  in  his 


sport  by  an  upstart,  as  he  called  Hunter  Gowan,  gave 
him  a  horse -whipping,  and  told  him  never  to  presume 
to  come  in  his  way  again.  Gowan  took  the  law  of 
Garrett  Byrne,  and  ran  him  into  great  expense.  This 
occurrence  of  the  horse-whipping  took  place  many  years 
previous  to  1798,  but  it  would  appear  that  from  that 
moment  Gowan  swore  eternal  hatred  to  Catholics  in 
general,  but  most  particularly  against  the  Byrnes. 

A  brother  of  Hunter  Gowan  lived  in  Gorey  and  kept 
a  saddler's  shop  there ;  he  was  considered  a  good  sort 
of  man,  without  any  pretence  of  being  above  what  he 

Garrett  Byrne  was  a  descendant  of  one  of  the  oldest 
and  most  distinguished  branches  of  the  Byrnes  of  the 
county  of  Wicklow ;  he  inherited  the  small  estate  of 
Ballymanus,  and  lived  in  great  style,  associating  with 
men  of  the  highest  rank  in  the  county,  all  of  whom 
esteemed  and  feared  him :  he  was  a  perfect  gentleman. 
He  was  dexterous  in  the  use  of  arms,  particularly  the 
small  sword  and  pistol ;  my  father  often  saw  him  shoot 
swallows  from  his  hall  door  with  a  pistol  ball.  He 
brought  up  his  family  with  high  notions  of  what  they 
owed  to  their  ancestors.  He  had  five  sons,  all  splendid 
men — Garrett,  John,  Colclough,  Edward,  and  poor  Billy 
or  William,  who  was  executed  at  Wicklow,  and  two 
daughters — Nelly  and  Fanny,  both  very  fine  women, 
and  very  well  educated. 

Garrett  Byrne,  finding  himself  getting  old  and  feeble, 
and  wishing  to  secure  an  independency  to  his  daughters, 
proposed  to  his  eldest  son,  Garrett,  who  had  been  lately 
married  to  a  Miss  White,  to  give  him  up  the  estate  and 
that  he  and  his  daughters  would  go  to  reside  in  Arklow. 
The  son  readily  complied,  and  settled  on  his  sisters 
what  their  father  thought  sufficient  for  them,  and  they 
gave  up  Ballymanus  to  young  Garrett  and  his  wife  a 
few  years  previous  to  1797.  From  this  epoch  young 


Garrett  Byrne  was  looked  up  to  by  the  people  of  that 
part  of  the  county  of  Wicklow  as  a  chief  in  whom  they 
could  confide  when  the  rising  should  take  place,  and  they 
were  not  deceived.  From  that  moment  Garrett  Byrne 
became  active  and  enterprising  in  organizing  the 
country,  where  he  was  destined  to  command,  and  the 
people  looked  up  to  him  as  one  who  was  to  lead  them 
to  victory  when  the  campaign  began. 

During  the  summer  of  1797  all  the  yeomanry  corps 
of  the  counties  of  Wexford,  Carlow,  and  Wicklow, 
cavalry  and  infantry,  were  equipped  in  the  most  splen- 
did manner.  Reviews  took  place  in  districts,  where 
several  corps  were  assembled  for  the  purpose.  The 
greatest  harmony  reigned  amongst  them;  although 
these  corps  were  composed  of  Catholics  as  well  as 
Protestants,  religious  animosity  was  unknown.  The 
United  Irish  system  contributed  not  a  little  to  promote 
this  blessing  and  to  remove  the  chance  of  a  religious 
war,  had  not  the  infernal  Orange  system,  making  its 
appearance  about  this  time  from  the  North  of  Ireland 
into  the  province  of  Leinster,  thwarted  its  good  effects. 
The  United  Irish  laboured  for  nothing  but  civil  and 
religious  liberty  for  Irishmen  of  all  persuasions,  and  for 
the  independence  of  their  country. 

How  sickening  it  is  to  reflect  that  no  man  inde- 
pendent of  English  influence  has  yet  come  forward  to 
write  the  history  of  that  period  and  to  give  the  lie  to 
the  calumnies  that  were  invented  and  propagated 
against  those  brave  patriots,  who  were  ready  to  sacrifice 
life  and  property  and  everything  dear  to  them  to  see 
their  unfortunate  country  well  governed  and  happy,  as 
she  ought  to  be ! 

I  frequently  went  to  see  the  reviews  of  the  yeomanry 
corps  at  Shillelagh,  Camolin,  Gorey,  Castletown,  Cool- 
greany,  etc.,  to  meet  friends  and  ascertain  from  them  the 
progress  our  system  was  making  in  their  various  dis- 


tricts ;  likewise,  to  consult  with  them  about  the  best 
means  of  keeping  the  people  quiet  until  the  proper 
time  arrived  for  acting  and  taking  the  field.  All  seemed 
to  be  going  on  as  well  as  we  could  wish,  till  the  autumn 
of  1797,  when  the  chiefs  of  several  yeomanry  corps 
became  alarmed,  and  proposed  to  them  to  take  a  test 
oath  that  they  were  neither  United  Irishmen  nor 
Orangemen,  and  never  would  be  either  the  one  or  the 

Captain  Knox  Grogan  assembled  his  corps  at  Little 
Limerick,  and  begged  them  to  take  this  oath.  Michael 
Redmond,  one  of  the  finest  young  men  of  the  corps,  and 
the  most  eloquent,  made  a  speech  in  reply,  and  said 
that,  for  his  own  part,  he  took  the  proposition  as  an 
insult,  and  therefore  would  resign.  "  If  there  were 
proofs,"  he  said,  "against  any  one  of  them  of  misde- 
meanour, let  him  be  arrested  and  brought  to  trial,  but 
not  insulted .  that  they  were  men  of  honour,  and  could 
not  put  up  with  such  treatment."  All  the  corps,  except 
two  officers,  Sir  Thomas  Esmonde,  Bart.,  and  Laurence 
Doyle,  lieutenants,  and  two  sergeants-instructors,  who 
had  served  with  Grogan  in  the  Green  Horse,  joined 
Redmond,  and  arranged  to  go  to  Captain  Knox  Grogan's 
residence  the  next  day  to  give  in  their  resignations  and 
all  that  had  been  furnished  by  Government,  such  as 
arms,  saddles,  etc.  Poor  Grogan  was  much  dejected, 
and  left  the  field,  followed  only  by  Sir  Thomas  Esmonde, 
Lieutenant  Doyle,  and  the  two  sergeants.  He  re- 
cruited a  few  men  amongst  his  poor  Protestant  tenantry, 
to  whom  he  furnished  horses,  and,  at  the  head  of  some 
twenty  or  thirty  of  them,  was  killed  at  the  battle  of 
Ark  low,  fighting  against  the  Insurgents,  on  the  gth  of 
June,  1798. 

Sir  Thomas  Esmonde  and  Laurence  Doyle,  although 
they  fought  beside  Grogan  during  the  battle,  were 
arrested  on  the  I2th  of  June  and  sent  prisoners  to 


Dublin.  As  they  were  Catholics,  the  only  way  for 
them  to  have  been  considered  loyal  subjects  in  those 
days  was  to  have  died  beside  their  unfortunate  captain. 
A  curious  coincidence :  the  brave  and  undaunted  Michael 
Redmond,  who  commanded  a  corps  of  the  Insurgent 
Army,  was  killed  about  the  same  time,  fighting  against 
Grogan  and  his  English  allies,  the  Durham  Fencibles, 
commanded  by  General  Skerrit.  Poor  Redmond's  death 
was  sorely  felt ;  he  would  in  a  short  time  have  become 
one  of  the  principal  leaders  of  the  great  cause — the  re- 
demption and  independence  of  Ireland.  His  younger 
brothers,  Denis  and  John,  fought  bravely,  and  had  to 
escape  to  Dublin  and  abandon  their  families  and  homes. 

The  corps  of  yeomanry  cavalry,  commanded  by 
Beaumont,  of  Hyde  Park,  in  which  Anthony  Perry,  of 
Inch,  or  Perry  Mount,  and  Ford,  of  Ballyfad,  were  offi- 
cers, refused  to  take  any  oath  respecting  their  being 
Orangemen  or  United  Irishmen ;  at  the  same  time  they 
resolved  not  to  resign,  but  to  continue  their  service  as 
usual.  Soon  after  the  corps  was  ordered  to  assemble, 
when  a  regiment  of  militia  was  in  waiting,  and  the  sus- 
pected members  were  surrounded  and  disarmed;  that 
is  to  say,  all  the  Catholics,  which  were  about  one-half 
of  the  corps,  with  Perry  and  one  or  two  other  Protes- 
tants, being  considered  too  liberal  to  make  part  of  a 
corps  that  was  henceforward  to  be  upon  the  true  Pro- 
testant or  Orange  system. 

Captain  Beaumont's  sisters  being  Catholics — one 
married  to  William  Talbot,  of  Castle  Talbot,  another  to 
Barry  Lawless,  of  Shankill,  her  first  cousin — he  thought 
it  necessary  to  show  his  aversion  to  their  religion  that 
he  might  not  be  suspected  of  lukewarmness  in  the  Pro- 
testant cause;  and  from  that  moment  he  became  a 
savage  and  cruel  bigot,  and  a  great  tyrant  wherever  he 
had  an  opportunity  of  exercising  his  power.  The  brave 
men  of  his  corps  whom  he  had  had  disarmed  deeply 


regretted  that  they  had  not  had  the  satisfaction  of  re- 
signing, as  Grogan's  corps  had  done,  before  having  met 
with  such  an  affront.  They  felt  it  keenly,  and,  conse- 
quently, became  the  more  active  in  organizing  the 
country ;  amongst  those  may  be  mentioned  in  particular 
Perry  and  Garrett  Fennell.  They  knew  well  that  they 
were  marked  out  for  vengeance,  but  that  they  did  not 
mind.  No  proof  could  be  brought  against  them,  from 
the  impossibility  of  procuring  informers  to  give  evidence 
against  United  Irishmen.  Such  was  the  holiness  of  the 
cause  they  were  embarked  in  that  they  dreaded  no 
danger  from  any  quarter,  and  continued  quietly  and 
successfully  with  the  preparations  necessary  for  the 
general  rising;  they  waited,  no  doubt,  with  impatience 
for  that  great  event,  which  they  hoped  would  leave  them 
free  and  independent  of  the  detestable  English  yoke  to 
which  their  country  had  been  subjected  for  centuries. 

In  the  towns  there  were  corps  of  foot  and  yeomanry 
as  well  as  cavalry.  White,  of  Ballyellis,  raised  a  foot 
corps,  and  got  great  praise  from  the  Government,  as 
he  had  it  equipped  and  armed  when  Heche's  expedition 
came  to  Bantry  Bay,  in  1796.  If  this  corps  was  one 
of  the  first  that  was  ready  to  march,  it  was  also  one  of 
the  first  to  be  disbanded  and  disarmed,  for  it  was  com- 
posed principally  of  Catholics,  though  the  officers  were 

It  is  curious  for  me  to  relate  now  that  only  for  the 
illegal  and  arbitrary  disbanding  of  the  Ballyellis  corps 
of  yeomanry  I  should  probably  never  have  enjoyed  the 
influence  I  had  in  the  country;  but  this  requires  ex- 
planation. These  brave  and  most  honest  men  felt  that 
they  were  badly  treated  by  their  captain,  Mr.  White, 
against  whom  they  intended  to  enter  a  lawsuit.  Some 
of  them  called  on  me  to  have  my  opinion,  and  I  advised 
them  to  name  two  or  three  of  the  corps  who  could 
afford  it  to  go  to  Dublin,  and  that  I  would  give  them  a 


letter  to  my  half-brother,  Edward  Kennedy,  who  was 
intimate  with  Counsellor  Thomas  Addis  Emmet,  and 
that  from  that  gentleman  they  could  have  the  best  law 
opinion  on  their  case.  Two  were  immediately  named, 
John  Keelly  and  his  brother-in-law,  both  very  simple 
but  very  honest,  worthy  men.  I  gave  them  a  few  lines 
to  my  brother,  who,  on  their  arrival  in  Dublin,  accom- 
panied and  presented  them  to  Mr.  Emmet.  He  at  once 
undertook  their  affair.  He  saw  it  would  afford  a  good 
opportunity  of  punishing  and  exposing  those  tyrants, 
who  selfishly  thought  of  nothing  but  their  own  advance- 

Counsellor  Curran  joined  Emmet,  and  both  pro- 
mised poor  Keelly  that  the  lawsuit  should  be  carried  on 
free  of  all  expense  to  the  brave  Ballyellis  corps :  they 
bid  him  return  and  get  all  his  comrades  immediately  to 
sign  a  paper  which  they  gave  him  for  the  purpose  of 
proceeding  forthwith  against  White,  who,  it  would 
appear,  felt  himself  open  to  the  law  by  his  improper 

It  is  needless  to  add  that  Keelly  followed  to  the 
letter  the  instructions  he  received  from  his  lawyers,  and 
that  not  only  the  members  of  the  corps,  but  all  the 
people  of  the  country,  were  enchanted  to  hear  of  the 
kind  reception  he  had  met  with  in  Dublin  through  my 
means,  and  that  injustice  could  not  be  committed  with 
impunity  on  any  member  of  their  Society.  Certainly 
my  brother  enjoyed  a  good  deal  of  influence  and  con- 
sideration amongst  the  leading  patriots  of  the  day,  such 
as  Keogh,  of  Mount  Jerome,  Thomas  Braghal,  Emmet, 
Edward  O'Reilly,  Richard  MacCormick,  etc.,  and  he  was 
always  ready  to  avail  himself  of  it  to  serve  his  country- 
men, who  were  continually  calling  on  him  in  Dublin, 
from  the  counties  of  Wexford  and  Wicklow  in  particu- 
lar. Indeed  it  is  only  justice  to  his  memory  to  add  that 
he  made  the  greatest  sacrifices,  both  pecuniary  and 


otherwise,  for  the  great  cause  we  were  all  embarked  in. 
From  1798  till  1803  he  lost  no  opportunity  of  serving 
those  brave  men,  who  had  had  to  escape  from  their 
homes  and  take  refuge  in  Dublin,  in  procuring  situa- 
tions and  employments  for  them ;  and  finally,  he  had 
to  pass  three  years  of  his  life  in  Kilmainham  Jail  with- 
out ever  being  brought  to  trial,  and  he  only  got  out  of 
prison  in  1806,  on  Mr.  Fox  coming  into  administration. 

I  think  it  necessary  to  enter  into  these  details  before 
I  begin  to  relate  what  I  saw  and  experienced  during  the 
Insurrection  which  followed,  and  to  mention  some  of 
the  incidents  which  took  place  in  the  country  previous 
to  it. 

White,  of  Ballyellis,  little  thought  he  was  drilling 
and  preparing  some  of  the  bravest  fellows  that  ever 
pulled  a  trigger  against  tyranny.  His  corps  would  have 
rendered  the  greatest  service  as  instructors  had  the  In- 
surgents succeeded.  Many  of  them  excelled  in  dex- 
terity and  military  acquirements ;  both  Isaac  and  Jacob 
Byrne  were  very  much  looked  up  to  by  their  comrades 
as  chiefs.  Three  brothers  of  the  name  of  Finn — Lau- 
rence, Luke,  and  Dan — rather  small-sized  men,  dis- 
tinguished themselves  by  their  bravery  and  by  their 
brotherly  attachment ;  they  seldom  separated,  and  fre- 
quently saved  one  another  in  the  greatest  danger.  One 
day  when  charged  by  cavalry  on  the  high  road  Luke 
fell  under  the  horse's  feet,  whilst  his  brother  Laurence 
escaped  over  a  hedge  or  ditch ;  the  latter  turning  round 
to  ascertain  what  had  become  of  Luke,  perceived  him 
lying  on  the  ground  and  two  horsemen  in  the  act  of 
firing  their  pistols  at  him ;  he  instantly  shot  one  of 
them.  Luke,  though  knocked  down,  kept  his  fowling- 
piece  by  his  side,  raised  it  up,  shot  the  other  horseman, 
escaped  with  his  brother,  and  gained  the  main  body 
soon  after.  They  were  the  first  in  every  action,  and 
always  the  last  to  quit  the  field  of  battle.  After  many 



adventures  and  dangerous  enterprises  they  effected  their 
escape  into  Dublin  when  the  Insurrection  was  put 
down :  they  left  their  widowed  mother  and  sister  to  the 
mercy  of  White  and  the  Orange  ruffians  of  that  neigh- 
bourhood. The  elder  brother,  Laurence,  went  to 
America;  Luke  became  a  clerk  and  book-keeper  in  a 
mercantile  house;  Dan,  the  youngest,  had  to  become 
a  waiter  in  a  porter  house  in  Patrick  Street.  Such  was 
the  reputation  of  the  Finns  that  the  worthy  proprietor, 
Thomas  MacGauran,  had  to  enlarge  his  establishment 
and  open  a  second  house  next  door,  for  all  the  good 
patriots  of  Dublin  began  to  frequent  it.  Soon  after 
young  Finn  married  Mr.  MacGauran's  niece  and  be- 
came his  partner.  When  I  left  Dublin  they  were  making 
a  fortune.  In  consequence  of  the  explosion  of  the 
depot  in  Patrick  Street,  in  1803,  they  were  imprisoned 
and  much  injured  in  their  business,  though  no  charge 
whatever  could  be  brought  against  them.  Poor  Finn 
died  some  time  after  getting  out  of  prison.  MacGauran 
came  with  all  his  family,  after  the  peace,  to  reside  at 
Ingouville,  near  Havre  de  Grace,  and  some  years  after  he 
had  the  misfortune  to  take  nitre  instead  of  salts,  of 
which  he  died  immediately,  much  lamented  and  re- 
gretted by  all  the  Irish  patriots  who  knew  him,  and 
leaving  several  young  children  unprovided  for. 

The  situation  of  the  few  Catholics  who  still  remained 
in  the  different  yeomanry  corps  became  every  day  more 
insupportable  and  humiliating,  and  particularly  so  in 
those  of  Shillelagh  and  Carnew,  these  corps  being  prin- 
cipally composed  of  Orangemen,  or,  to  say  the  least,  of 
very  prejudiced  and  bigoted  Protestants.  Poor  Thomas 
Cullen,  a  very  able  sculptor,  and  a  very  enlightened 
man,  fell  a  victim  to  the  rage  of  his  fellow-yeomen  when 
the  Insurrection  broke  out,  for  his  being  a  Catholic. 

Towards  the  end  of  the  year  1797,  the  Orange 
magistrates  used  all  their  influence  and  made  every 


effort  to  find  out  a  clew  by  which  they  might  discover 
what  the  United  Irishmen  were  bent  on  doing;  but 
all  in  vain.  They  could  not  for  any  sum  of  money  find 
any  to  turn  informer  and  betray  the  sacred  cause. 
Thus  the  proverb  was  found  untrue,  for  an  Irishman 
could  not  be  found  to  turn  the  spit. 

An  incident  occurred,  however,  in  the  neighbourhood 
of  Carnew  which  caused  great  alarm  throughout  the 
country.  A  young  man  of  the  name  of  Whelan,  who 
had  been  riding  home  in  a  shower,  bid  his  servant  put 
his  great-coat  on  a  hedge  to  dry ;  it  had  scarcely  been 
placed  there,  when  it  was  stolen  by  a  man  passing  that 
way.  Whelan  instantly  pursued  the  thief,  and  when 
he  overtook  him,  with  his  great-coat  under  his  arm,  he 
gave  him  a  drubbing,  instead  of  taking  him  a  prisoner, 
as  he  ought  to  have  done.  This  fellow  was  known  by 
the  name  of  Cooper,  the  sowgelder.  He  went  to  the 
next  Orange  magistrate  to  swear  information  against 
Whelan  for  beating  him,  but  the  magistrate  told  him 
it  would  be  a  surer  way  to  get  revenge,  and  also  to 
obtain  compensation,  were  he  to  swear  that  Whelan 
had  made  him  a  United  Irishman.  Cooper  readily  fol- 
lowed the  advice  of  this  "  honest "  magistrate,  and,  a 
few  days  after,  numbers  of  innocent  men  were  arrested 
on  this  fellow's  information,  and  sent  to  Wicklow  and 
Wexford  Jails.  Fortunately  the  Assizes  Circuit  came 
on  soon  after,  and  Mat  Bowling  being  employed  as 
solicitor,  and  Counsellor  Curran  specially  retained  to 
plead  for  all  those  imprisoned  in  Wicklow  Jail,  the  per- 
jured villain  was  soon  unmasked,  and  proved  by  Curran 
to  be  a  returned  felon  of  the  name  of  Morgan,  and  not 
Cooper,  who  had  been  transported  for  ten  years  for 
robberies  and  other  crimes,  and  had  only  returned  a 
short  while  before.  Thus  his  evidence  was  scouted,  and 
the  prisoners  acquitted;  but  not  before  Curran  had 
stigmatised  those  magistrates  who  could  encourage  and 


bring  forward  such  a  villain.  He  declared  in  the  open 
court  that  the  baseness  and  infamy  of  such  transactions 
would  reflect  eternal  infamy  not  only  on  them  but  on 
the  Government  if  they  were  allowed  to  retain  their 
commissions.  The  formality  of  bail  being  required,  my 
step-brother  Kennedy  and  Mr.  Thomas  Seagrave,  of 
Kevin  Street,  who  were  at  the  trial  in  Wicklow,  went 
bail  for  twenty  of  those  who  had  been  acquitted ;  two 
of  our  tenants  were  amongst  the  number. 

Mat  Dowling  exerted  himself  in  the  most  surprising 
manner  on  this  occasion.  It  was  past  twelve  at  night 
before  he  was  able  to  get  the  last  of  these  brave  fellows 
out  of  prison.  Not  having  had  time  to  dine  or  eat  any- 
thing all  day,  it  is  needless  to  say  that  he  and  the 
gentlemen  who  had  bailed  the  prisoners  supped  heavily 
together  and  passed  a  merry  night  after  the  victory  of 
the  day.  Mat  Dowling  was  a  most  honest  attorney  and 
an  agreeable  companion,  and  one  of  the  truest  patriots 
that  could  be  met  with  in  all  Ireland.  I  made  his  ac- 
quaintance at  Paris,  in  1803,  after  he  got  out  of  Fort 
George,  and  I  must  say  I  passed  many  happy  days  in 
his  company.  He  was  full  of  talent,  witty,  and  generous 
beyond  description ;  everyone  liked  him  that  knew  him, 
and  was  delighted  with  his  agreeable  manners. 

Counsellor  Curran  learned  from  the  judge  who  went 
the  circuit  that  it  was  not  thought  expedient  to  bring 
Cooper  to  Wexford  to  prosecute  the  prisoners  who  were 
in  jail  there  on  his  information.  They  were  all  set  at 
liberty,  on  the  judge  entering  the  courthouse  at  Wex- 
ford, to  the  great  mortification  and  disappointment  of 
those  upright  magistrates  who  did  not  scruple  to  have 
so  many  honest  men  torn  from  their  homes,  their  wives 
and  children,  when  no  charge  could  be  brought  against 
them,  save  from  the  information  of  the  villain  Morgan 
or  Cooper,  who  had  in  fact  been  instigated  to  swear 
against  them  by  these  same  magistrates. 


All  these  brave  patriots  who  had  to  quit  the  diffe- 
rent yeomanry  corps  knew  well  that  they  would  be 
regarded  by  the  Orange  magistrates  as  men  who  should 
be  closely  looked  after,  and  that  no  pains  or  expense 
would  be  spared  to  procure  informers  to  swear  against 
them.  All  this  only  served  to  excite  them  to  exert 
themselves  in  every  way  to  forward  the  organization 
of  the  United  Irish  system,  and  really  obtained  for  them 
greater  consideration  and  influence  than  they  otherwise 
would  have  had.  Already  the  people  began  to  look  up 
to  them  as  their  chiefs  and  leaders,  although  only  a 
few  of  them  were  entitled  to  rank  by  the  organization 
then  known  in  the  country. 

It  was  well  understood  that  the  ensuing  spring  was 
finally  fixed  on  for  the  great  struggle  and  simultaneous 
rising ;  therefore  the  winter  of  1 797  and  1 798  only  re- 
mained to  complete  the  preparations  necessary  for  this 
long-wished-for  event.  Nothing  could  exceed  the  readi- 
ness and  good-will  of  the  United  Irishmen  to  comply 
with  the  instructions  they  received  to  procure  arms, 
ammunition,  etc.,  notwithstanding  the  difficulties  and 
perils  they  underwent  purchasing  those  articles.  Every 
man  had  fire-arms  of  some  sort,  or  a  pike ;  the  latter 
weapon  was  easily  had  at  this  time,  for  almost  every 
blacksmith  was  an  United  Irishman.  The  pike  blades 
were  soon  hadj  but  it  was  more  difficult  to  procure 
handles  for  them,  and  the  cutting  down  of  young  ash- 
trees  for  that  purpose  awoke  attention  and  caused  great 
suspicion  of  the  object  in  view.  However,  as  there 
were  no  informers,  all  went  on  smoothly  until  the  fatal 
3<Dth  of  March,  1798,  when  all  Ireland  was  put  under 
martial  law,  and  officially  declared  to  be  in  a  state  of 
rebellion  by  a  proclamation  of  the  Lord  Lieutenant  and 
the  Privy  Council  of  the  realm.  By  this  proclamation 
the  military  were  directed  to  use  the  most  summary 
method  of  repressing  all  kind  of  disturbance.  From 


that  moment  every  one  considered  himself  as  walking 
on  a  mine  ready  to  be  blown  up,  and  all  sighed  for 
orders  to  begin. 

What  a  pity  that  Lord  Edward  Fitzgerald  or  the 
Directory  did  not  at  this  juncture  immediately  issue 
their  decree  to  take  the  field,  instead  of  waiting  until 
the  chiefs  were  in  prison  or  hiding  to  escape  the  most 
cruel  tortures  that  ever  were  invented  by  any  savage 
nation  on  the  face  of  the  globe.  The  furious  inquisitors 
of  Spain  might  have  taken  a  lesson  from  the  Beresfords 
of  that  day.  Flogging,  half  hanging,  picketing,  were 
mild  tortures  in  comparison  of  the  pitch  caps  that  were 
applied  to  the  heads  of  those  who  happened  to  wear 
their  hair  short,  called  croppies;  the  head  being  com- 
pletely singed,  a  cap  made  of  strong  linen  well  imbued 
with  boiling  pitch  was  so  closely  put  on  that  it  could 
not  be  taken  off  without  bringing  off  a  part  of  the  skin 
and  flesh  from  the  head :  in  many  instances  the  tor- 
tured victim  had  one  of  his  ears  cut  off  to  satisfy  the 
executioner  that  if  he  escaped  he  could  readily  be  dis- 
covered, being  so  well  marked. 

The  military,  placed  on  free  quarters  with  the  in- 
habitants, were  mostly  furnished  by  the  Ancient 
Britons,  a  cruel  regiment,  which  became  obnoxious 
from  the  many  outrages  they  committed  wherever  they 
were  stationed:  being  quartered  in  houses  where  the 
men  had  to  absent  themselves,  the  unfortunate  females 
who  remained  had  to  suffer  all  sorts  of  brutality  from 
these  ferocious  monsters.  What  hardships,  what  cala- 
mities and  miseries  had  not  the  wretched  people  to 
suffer  on  whom  were  let  loose  such  a  body  of  soldiery 
as  were  then  in  Ireland!  It  was  on  this  occasion  that 
Sir  Ralph  Abercrombie,  unwilling  to  tarnish  his  military 
fame,  resigned  the  chief  command  of  the  army  in  Ireland 
on  the  2Qth  of  April,  1798,  rather  than  sanction  by  his 
presence  proceedings  so  abhorrent  to  his  nature. 


Many  of  the  low-bred  magistrates  availed  them- 
selves of  the  martial  law  to  prove  their  vast  devotion 
to  Government  by  persecuting  and  often  torturing  the 
inoffensive  country  people.  Archibald  Hamilton  Jacob 
and  the  Enniscorthy  yeomen  cavalry  never  marched  out 
of  the  town  without  being  accompanied  by  a  regular 
executioner,  with  his  ropes,  cat-o'-nine-tails,  etc. 
Hawtry  White,  Solomon  Richards,  and  a  Protestant 
minister  of  the  name  of  Owens  were  all  notorious  for 
their  cruelty  and  persecuting  spirit;  the  latter  particu- 
larly so,  putting  on  pitch  caps,  and  exercising  other 
torments.  To  the  credit  of  some  of  his  victims  when 
the  vile  fellow  himself  was  in  their  power,  and  was 
brought  a  prisoner  to  the  Insurgent  camp  at  Gorey, 
they  sought  no  other  revenge  that  that  of  putting  a 
pitch  cap  on  him.  I  had  often  difficulty  in  preventing 
the  others,  who  had  suffered  so  much  at  his  hands, 
from  tearing  him  to  pieces.  He  in  the  end  escaped 
with  many  other  prisoners,  being  escorted  and  guarded 
by  men  who  did  not  consider  that  revenge  or  retalia- 
tion of  any  kind  would  forward  the  sacred  cause  they 
were  embarked  in :  particularly  as  they  were  desirous 
it  should  not  be  thought  that  it  was  a  religious  war 
they  were  engaged  in.  Although  several  of  the  prin- 
cipal chiefs  of  the  United  Irishmen  were  Protestants, 
the  Orange  magistrates  did  all  they  could  to  spread  the 
belief  that  the  Catholics  had  no  other  object  in  view 
but  to  kill  their  Protestant  fellow-subjects :  and  to  give 
weight  to  this  opinion,  they/  did  what  they  could  to 
provoke  the  unfortunate  people  to  commit  outrages  and 

•i\       reprisals  by  killing  some  and  burning  their  houses. 

In  short,  the  state  of  the  country  previous  to  the 

^        Insurrection  is  not  to  be  imagined,  except  by  those  who 

A?  witnessed  the  atrocities  of  every  description  committed 

by  the  military  and  the  Orangemen,  who  were  let  loose 

'  v    on  the  unfortunate  defenceless  and  unarmed  population. 


The  infamous   Hunter   Gowan  now   sighed  for   an 
opportunity  to  vent  his  ferocious  propensity  of  murder- 
ing his  Catholic  neighbours  in  cold  blood.     When  the 
yeomanry  corps  were  first  formed  he  was  not  considered 
sufficiently  respectable  to  be  charged  with  the  command 
of  one;    but  in   consequence   of  the   proclamation  of 
martial   law,   he    soon  obtained   a   commission    of   the 
peace  and  was  created  a  captain,  and  was  commissioned 
to  raise  a  cavalry  corps :  in  a  short  time  he  succeeded 
in  getting  about  thirty  or  forty  low  Orangemen,  badly 
mounted ;   but  they  soon  procured  better  horses  at  the 
expense  of  the  unfortunate  farmers,  who  were   plun- 
dered without  redress.     This  corps  went  by  the  name 
of  the  "  black  mob."    Their  first  campaign  was  to  arrest 
all  the  Catholic  blacksmiths  and  to  bum  their  houses. 
Poor  William    Butter,     James     Haydon,     and    Dalton, 
smiths  whom  we  employed  to  shoe  our  horses  and  do 
other  work  for  many  years  before,  were  condemned  to 
be  transported,   according  to  the   recent  law  enacted, 
that  magistrates  upon  their  own  authority  could  sen- 
tence  to   transportation.       But     the     monster    Hunter 
Gowan  thinking   this   kind   of  punishment   too    slight, 
wished  to  give  his  young  men  an  opportunity  to  prove 
they  were  staunch  blood-hounds.     Poor  Garrett  Fennell, 
who  had  just  landed  from  England,  and  was  on  his 
'way  to  see  his  father  and  family,  was  met  by  this 
corps  and  tied  by  his  two  hands  up  to  a  tree ;  they  then 
stood  at  a  certain  distance  and  each  man  lodged  the 
contents  of  his  carbine  in  the  body  of  poor  Fennell,  at 
their  captain's  command.     They  then  went  to  a  house 
close  by,  where  they  shot  James  Darcy,  a  poor,  inoffen- 
sive man,  the  father  of  five  children.     The  bodies  of 
these  two  murdered  victims  were  waked  that  night  in 
the  chapel  of  Monaseed,  where  the  unhappy  women  and 
children  assembled  to  lament  their  slaughtered  relatives. 
This  chapel  was  afterwards  burned.     Poor  Fennell  left 


a  young  widow  and  two  children.  This  cruel  deed  took 
place  on  the  road  between  our  house  and  the  chapel. 
The  day  after  (the  25th  of  May,  1798),  about  three  miles 
from  our  place,  one  of  the  most  bloody  deeds  took  place 
that  was  ever  recorded  in  Irish  history  since  the  days  of 
Cromwell.  Twenty-eight  fathers  of  families,  prisoners, 
were  shot  and  massacred  in  the  ball-alley  of  Carnew, 
without  trial.  Mr.  Cope,  the  Protestant  minister,  was 
one  of  the  principal  magistrates  who  presided  at  this 
execution.  I  knew  several  of  the  murdered  men,  par- 
ticularly Pat  Murphy,  of  Knockbrandon,  at  whose 
wedding  I  was  two  years  before ;  he  was  a  brave  and 
most  worthy  man,  and  much  esteemed.  William  Young, 
a  Protestant,  was  amongst  the  slaughtered. 

At  Dunlavin,  county  of  Wicklow,  previous  to  the 
rising,  thirty- four  men  were  shot,  without  any  trial: 
officers,  to  their  disgrace,  presiding  and  sanctioning  these 
proceedings.  But  it  is  useless  to  enumerate  or  continue 
the  list  of  cruelties  perpetrated :  it  will  suffice  to  say 
that  where  the  military  were  placed  on  free  quarters 
and  where  all  kinds  of  crime  were  committed,  the  people 
were  not  worse  off  than  those  living  where  no  soldiers 
were  quartered ;  for  in  the  latter  instance  the  inhabi- 
tants were  generally  called  to  their  doors  and  shot 
without  ceremony,  their  houses  being  immediately 
burned  or  plundered. 

This  was  the  miserable  state  our  part  of  the  country 
was  in  the  beginning  of  May,  1798.  All  were  obliged 
to  quit  their  houses  and  hide  themselves  the  best  way 
they  could.  Ned  Fennell,  Nicholas  Murphy,  and  I 
agreed,  the  last  time  we  met  previous  to  the  Insurrec- 
tion, that,  through  the  means  of  our  female  friends,  we 
should  do  everything  in  our  power  to  keep  the  people 
from  desponding,  for  we  had  every  reason  to  hope  that 
ere  long  there  would  be  orders  received  for  a  general 
rising  from  the  Directory.  We  also  promised  to  en- 


deavour  to  get  news  from  Dublin,  if  possible,  and  at 
least  from  Arklow,  through  Phil  Neill  and  young  Garrett 
Graham,  of  that  town,  both  of  them  very  active  and 
well  known  to  the  principal  men  in  Dublin ;  and 
through  them  and  Anthony  Perry  we  expected  shortly 
to  receive  instructions  for  what  was  best  to  be  done 
under  the  critical  circumstances  in  which  we  were 
placed.  I  was  daily  in  hopes  of  getting  some  informa- 
tion from  my  step-brother,  Kennedy  (at  Dublin),  and 
on  this  account  I  remained  as  long  as  I  could  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  our  place,  keeping  away,  however, 
from  my  mother's  house;  sleeping  at  night  in  the 
fields,  watching  in  the  day-time  from  the  hills  and 
high  grounds  to  see  if  the  military  or  yeomen  were 

The  22nd  of  May  I  ventured  to  call  on  Ned  Fen- 
nell's  father,  who  I  met  on  his  own  land,  to  enquire  if 
he  had  any  news  for  me.  He  told  me  he  had  seen  my 
sister  and  also  Nick  Murphy's  sister  that  morning,  and 
that  neither  of  them  had  learned  anything  new,  the 
communications  then  being  everywhere  intercepted, 
and  that  they  had  little  hopes  of  being  able  to  procure 
any.  Mr.  Fennell  assured  me  I  might  accompany  him 
to  his  house  without  any  risk,  and  there  take  some  re- 
freshments, of  which  I  stood  in  great  need ;  he  pro- 
mised that  both  he  and  his  young  son,  Mathew,  then 
seventeen  years  of  age,  would  be  on  the  look-out ;  that 
they  could  see  in  every  direction  to  a  great  distance,  if 
the  military  were  approaching.  I  accepted  his  kind 
offer,  and  in  less  than  fifteen  minutes  after  I  entered 
the  house  the  son  came  in  in  haste  to  tell  me  that  the 
Carnew  yeomanry  were  crossing  the  river  from  Burks- 
town,  at  the  bottom  of  the  land,  but  that  we  could 
escape  unseen  by  a  hedge  and  get  to  a  hill  about  a 
mile  off  without  being  perceived  I  followed  his  ad- 
vice, and  soon  reached  it.  On  this  hill  I  met  Ned 


Nowlan  and  Mick  Kearney,  both  very  fine  young 
fellows.  They  had  just  escaped  also  from  the  infernal 
Carnew  corps.  We  agreed  to  remain  together,  and  I 
proposed  to  them  to  go  to  my  step-sister,  Mrs.  Doyle, 
at  Ballintemple,  in  the  county  of  Wicklow:  it  was  a 
woody  country  and  offered  more  facilities  for  hiding, 
and  was  about  five  miles  from  Arklow. 

We  set  out  in  the  night  and  arrived  in  the  morning, 
when  I  found  my  poor  sister  in  great  distress,  fearing 
every  moment  that  her  husband  would  be  arrested,  the 
house  having  been  ransacked  the  day  before,  under  pre- 
text of  searching  for  concealed  arms ;  but  she  was  con- 
vinced that  it  was  me  they  were  looking  for,  so  we  im- 
mediately left  the  house,  took  some  bread  with  us,  and 
got  into  a  wood,  where  we  passed  the  day,  near  the 
Vale  of  Avoca. 

When  night  came  on  we  decided  to  go  to  Arklow. 
Nowlan  had  a  friend  of  his,  James  Earichty,  who  had 
gone  there  a  few  days  before  to  conceal  himself  at  his 
brother's  place,  the  latter  being  an  inhabitant  of  Arklow 
and  a  sea-faring  man,  and  keeping  also  a  small  inn  or 
public-house.  We  expected  we  could  stop  some  time 
unnoticed ;  besides,  we  thought  it  was  necessary  to 
learn  something  from  the  leaders  in  the  town.  One  of 
my  father's  sisters  and  her  husband  had  been  living 
there  for  some  time,  which  was  another  inducement  for 
me  to  go  there.  Next  day  being  the  market-day  of  the 
town  we  got  in  without  being  remarked.  I  went  in- 
stantly to  my  aunt's,  and  got  her  husband  to  procure 
me  an  interview  with  Garrett  Graham,  who  was  to  be 
one  of  the  principal  chiefs  there.  In  the  garden  be- 
longing to  his  own  house  I  found  him  terribly  cast 
down ;  he  told  me  how  he  expected  to  be  arrested  every 
moment,  and  that  he  could  not  think  of  escaping,  as 
his  father  would  be  taken  in  his  place,  the  house 
burned,  etc.,  if  he  was  not  forthcoming.  He  told  me 


that  Phil  Neill  had  surrendered  himself  to  save  his 
father  from  imprisonment  and  destruction ;  he  seemed 
to  envy  my  situation,  and  added  "that  he  was  con- 
vinced, from  all  he  had  learned  that  morning  and  from 
the  different  movements  of  the  military  and  yeomanry 
corps  of  the  town  and  neighbourhood,  that  there  was 
fighting  going  on  somewhere,  and  that  it  was  reported 
that  the  Insurgents  were  in  great  force  in  the  counties 
of  Kildare  and  Carlow." 

I  took  my  leave  of  Graham,  and  went  instantly  to 
meet  Nowlan  and  Kearney  at  Earichty's  brother's  house. 
They  had  heard  all  the  news  Graham  gave  me,  and 
even  more,  and  from  better  authority.  We,  in  conse- 
quence, decided  to  quit  the  town  immediately,  and  to 
get  again  into  the  country,  and,  if  possible,  go  in  the 
direction  where  we  might  expect  to  meet  the  Insurgents. 

Earichty,  who  resided  in  Arklow,  knew  two  recruit- 
ing sergeants  of  the  Fourth  Dragoon  Guards,  who  had 
been  quartered  there  for  some  time,  and  frequented  his 
house.  They  had  just  received  orders  to  rejoin  their 
regiment  at  Carlow.  Mrs.  Earichty  arranged  with 
them  that  his  brother  and  his  three  comrades  might 
march  with  them  as  long  as  it  suited  their  convenience ; 
of  course  we  readily  availed  ourselves  of  this  oppor- 
tunity. But  as  it  was  known  in  town  that  their  orders 
for  recruiting  had  ceased,  they  did  not  wish  us  to  march 
through  the  streets  with  them;  consequently,  as  soon 
as  Mrs.  Earichty  had  procured  us  four  cockades,  we 
set  out  by  a  back-way  and  joined  our  two  sergeants  on 
the  great  road.  We  stopped  in  a  village  about  three 
miles  from  Arklow  for  the  night,  and  next  morning 
rejoined  our  two  horsemen  on  the  high  road  to  Hackets- 

James  Earichty  was  on  friendly  terms  with  those 
sergeants,  having  seen  them  so  much  at  his  brother's. 
He  saw  that  they  seemed  rather  alarmed,  and  asked 


them  if  they  had  heard  any  news  during  the  night. 
They  replied  "  that  they  had  got  very  bad  news ;  that 
it  was  probable  they  would  have  to  return ;  that  the 
Insurgents  were  rising  and  attacking  the  military  in 
different  places,  but  that  they  did  not  get  any  satisfac- 
tory details  one  way  or  another." 

We  got  no  further  news  until  we  reached  Hackets- 
town  in  the  evening,  and,  on  entering  it,  poor  Ned 
Nowlan  was  met  by  a  clerk  of  Ralph  Blaney's,  of  Car- 
new,  Effy  Page,  who  arrested  him,  and  had  him  put  into 
prison  immediately.  On  seeing  this  one  of  the  sergeants 
came  instantly  and  told  Earichty  that  he  thought  we 
should  do  well  to  go  outside  the  town  to  pass  the  night, 
and  that  we  could  rejoin  them  in  the  morning  on  the 
great  road  to  Carlow,  and  if  we  saw  them  accompanied 
by  any  cavalry  that,  of  course,  we  knew  what  was  best 
to  be  done.  We  followed  their  advice,  and  next  morn- 
ing at  daylight  we  saw  them  at  a  great  distance  and 
alone,  which  raised  our  spirits  very  much.  As  we  had 
heard  during  the  night  from  the  country  people  that 
Rathvilly  was  attacked  and  also  the  town  of  Carlow,  we 
hoped  to  meet  the  Insurgents  somewhere  or  other  in 
force,  but,  unfortunately,  we  were  again  cruelly  disap- 
pointed. Passing  at  Rathvilly  we  saw  a  great  number 
of  men  lying  dead  on  the  roadside,  where  they  had  been 
killed  the  day  before  by  the  military  who  were  quar- 
tered there. 

On  arriving  in  Carlow  we  saw  every  appearance  of 
the  greatest  confusion  and  dismay.  The  Insurgents,  in 
great  force,  had  attacked  the  town  at  two  o'clock  that 
morning,  the  25th  of  May ;  and  although  they  were  de- 
feated and  dispersed,  and  many  of  them  burned  in  the 
houses  in  Tullow  Street,  where  they  took  shelter,  yet 
it  was  generally  thought  that  they  would  muster  again 
in  greater  numbers  than  ever,  as  they  were  not  pursued 
by  the  cavalry  to  any  distance  from  the  town.  We  had 


remarked  that  we  did  not  meet  a  single  corps  of  yeo- 
manry from  Arklow  to  Carlow ;  they  were  so  frightened 
that  they  preferred  keeping  concentrated  in  the  garri- 
sons of  the  regular  troops. 

Kearney,  Earichty,  and  I  all  concluded  that,  from 
everything  we  had  witnessed  and  learned  during  the  last 
two  days,  there  must  have  been  an  attempt  at  a  general 
rising  in  the  counties  of  Carlow,  Wexford,  and  Wick- 
low.  We  therefore  decided  at  once  on  making  the  best 
of  our  way  back  to  our  own  county,  where  we  should  be 
more  likely  to  render  service. 

We  instantly  left  Carlow,  and  at  a  short  distance  in 
the  fields  went  into  the  first  house  we  came  to.  There 
we  remained  till  night.  Earichty  had  been  a  good  deal 
at  sea  with  his  brother,  and  seemed  to  know  how  to 
direct  his  course  on  land  by  the  stars,  as  well  as  if  he 
had  been  on  the  ocean ;  he  promised  to  guide  us  across 
the  country  to  my  mother's  place,  a  distance  of  more 
than  twenty  miles,  without  following  any  of  the  prin- 
cipal roads,  where  we  might  be  liable  to  meet  patrols. 
He  kept  his  word  But  of  all  the  forced  marches  I  ever 
made  this  was  the  worst,  on  account  of  being  obliged  to 
leap  over  hedges  and  ditches  to  avoid  the  highway. 
Poor  Kearney  caught  a  dysentery  by  it,  of  which  he  died 
soon  after.  He  was  a  fine  young  man  of  twenty  years 
of  age.  Earichty  was  twenty-eight  or  thirty,  six  feet 
two  inches  high,  powerfully  made  and  well  proportioned, 
sagacious  and  clever.  To  him  I  may  say  I  owed  my 
existence,  for  we  never  could  have  made  the  journey 
by  night  but  for  the  knowledge  of  astronomy  he  ac- 
quired at  sea. 

We  arrived  a  little  before  day-break  at  my  mother's 
house.  I  approached  the  house  with  great  precaution 
(lest  there  might  be  soldiers  placed  there),  and  I  must 
add,  overwhelmed  with  anxiety,  fearing  to  learn  every 
thing  for  the  worst  However,  finding  all  silent,  I  went 


at  once  and  knocked.  My  poor  sister  came  to  the 
window,  trembling  and  alarmed,  until  she  saw  it  was 
me.  She  told  me  that  my  mother  had  gone  to  Gorey 
to  strive  to  get  our  step-brother  Hugh  out  of  prison; 
he  was  in  the  last  stage  of  a  decline,  and  had  only 
arrived  a  short  time  before  from  Dublin  to  recover  his 
health.  Still  the  cruel*  Orangemen  took  him  up  as 
they  could  not  get  me. 

Before  I  had  time  to  ask  any  questions  my  sister 
told  me  "  she  hoped  to  have  good  news  to  tell  me  in 
the  morning ;  that  it  was  certain  the  people  were  rising 
in  every  direction,  and  had  already  defeated  the  troops. 
She  could  not  then  give  me  the  details,  but  in  an  hour 
or  two  she  was  sure  to  be  able  to  satisfy  me  in  every 
particular."  Until  she  ascertained  something  more 
positive,  E aridity,  Kearney,  and  I  thought  it  prudent  to 
remain  out  in  a  field  concealed  near  the  house  whilst 
waiting  for  the  news.  When  it  was  broad  daylight  we  saw 
my  sister  running  to  look  for  us  to  give  us  the  cheerful 
tidings,  with  all  the  joyful  enthusiasm  so  characteristic 
of  a  young  Irish  girl  of  eighteen.  She  told  us  that  the 
troops  had  run  away  from  Gorey,  and  that  all  the 
prisoners  were  at  liberty  to  go  where  they  pleased ;  but 
still  the  people,  or  the  Insurgent  army,  as  we  must  now 
call  them,  did  not  march  that  way,  but  were  in  great 
force  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Camolin  and  Ferns. 

We  instantly  prepared  to  go  and  join  them.  I  dis- 
tributed the  few  arms  I  had  concealed.  My  fowling- 
piece,  not  having  been  hid,  was  taken  a  month  before 
by  Earl  Mountnorris'  corps  of  yeomanry:  but  I  ex- 
pected to  be  able  to  bring  a  treasure  to  our  camp  in 
an  immense  large  jar  of  powder,  which  Nick  Murphy, 
Jack  Sheridan,  and  I  hid  some  time  before.  I  was 
cruelly  disappointed  when  I  went  to  the  field  and  found 
that  it  had  been  dug  up  and  taken  away.  My  sister 
told  me  that  some  days  before  she  had  seen  Sheridan, 


in  company  with  soldiers,  in  that  field,  but  she  could 
not  say  what  they  were  doing;  the  unfortunate  man 
discovered  this  treasure,  no  doubt,  to  save  his  life. 

It  was  only  now  that  I  heard  for  the  first  time  of  all 
the  barbarous  murders  that  had  been  committed  whilst 
I  was  away:  the  massacre  at  Carnew,  the  murder  of 
poor  Garrett  Fennell,  Darcy,  and  a  list  of  others  who 
had  shared  the  same  fate.  My  dear  sister  thought  she 
could  never  tell  me  enough  about  all  that  had  hap- 
pened during  my  absence ;  how  our  horses  were  taken, 
and  that  three  men  mounted  my  mare  and  sprained  her 
back,  etc.  But  if  I  had  not  remarked  a  long  scar  on 
her  neck  she  would  not  have  mentioned  anything  about 
herself.  A  yeoman  of  the  name  of  Wheatly,  of  the 
Gorey  corps,  the  day  on  which  poor  Hugh  was  arrested 
threatened  to  cut  her  throat  with  his  sabre  if  she  did 
not  tell  instantly  the  place  where  I  was  hiding:  the 
cowardly  villain  no  doubt  would  have  put  his  threat  in 
execution  had  not  some  of  his  comrades  interfered  to 
prevent  him. 

Being  joined  by  a  few  of  our  farmer  workmen  and 
tenants'  sons,  who  heard  I  had  returned,  I  prepared 
again  to  take  leave  of  my  sister,  knowing  that  my  dear 
mother  would  soon  be  home  to  keep  her  company. 
This  time  she  saw  me  depart  with  joy  and  delight,  for 
she  had  set  her  heart  and  soul  on  the  success  of  our 
undertaking;  her  courage  and  spirit  was  surprising 
under  such  circumstances  for  a  girl  of  her  age,  and  she 
never  despaired.  I  bid  her  farewell,  and  marched  off 
with  my  faithful  friends,  Earichty,  Kearney,  and  the 
others  who  had  just  joined  us,  on  the  great  road  to 
Camolin,  a  distance  of  seven  miles,  and  reached  this 
town  without  meeting  with  a  single  armed  man  to 
oppose  us.  Here  we  learned  all  the  particulars  of 
Father  John  Murphy's  wonderful  success  the  night  be- 
fore, and  we  instantly  resolved  to  march  and  join  him 
without  delay. 


The  Rev.  John  Murphy,  of  the  parish  of  Monageer 
and  Boolavogue,  was  a  worthy,  simple,  pious  man,  and 
one  of  those  Roman  Catholic  priests  who  used  the 
greatest  exertions  and  exhortations  to  oblige  the  people 
to  surrender  their  pikes  and  fire-arms  of  every  descrip- 
tion. As  soon  as  the  cowardly  yeomanry  thought  that 
all  the  arms  were  given  up,  and  that  there  was  no  far- 
ther risk,  they  took  courage  and  set  out  on  Whit  Satur- 
day, the  26th  of  May,  1798,  burning  and  destroying  all 
before  them.  Poor  Father  John,  seeing  his  chapel  and 
his  house  and  many  others  of  the  parish  all  on  fire,  and 
in  several  of  them  the  inhabitants  consumed  in  the 
flames,  and  that  no  man  seen  in  coloured  clothes  could 
escape  the  fury  of  the  yeomanry,  betook  himself  to  the 
next  wood,  where  he  was  soon  surrounded  by  the  unfor- 
tunate people  who  had  escaped.  All  came  beseeching 
his  reverence  to  tell  them  what  was  to  become  of  them 
and  their  poor  families :  he  answered  them  abruptly 
that  they  had  better  die  courageously  in  the  field  than 
be  butchered  in  their  houses :  that,  for  his  own  part,  if 
he  had  any  brave  men  to  join  him,  he  was  resolved  to 
sell  his  life  dearly  and  prove  to  those  cruel  monsters 
that  they  should  not  continue  their  murders  and  devas- 
tations with  impunity.  All  answered  and  cried  out  that 
they  were  determined  to  follow  his  advice  and  to  do 
whatever  he  ordered.  "  Well,  then,"  he  replied,  "  we 
must  when  night  comes  get  armed  the  best  way  we 
can,  with  pitch-forks  and  other  weapons,  and  attack  the 
Camolin  yeoman  cavalry  on  their  way  back  to  Earl 
Mountnorris,  where  they  will  return  to  pass  the  night 
after  satisfying  their  savage  rage  on  the  defenceless 
country  people." 

Father  John's  plan  was  soon  put  in  execution ;  he 
went  to  the  high  road  by  which  the  corps  was  to  return, 
left  a  few  men  near  a  house  with  instructions  to  place 
two  cars  across  the  road  the  moment  the  last  of  the 


cavalry  had  passed,  and  at  a  short  distance  from  thence, 
half  a  quarter  of  a  mile,  he  made  a  complete  barricade 
across  the  highway,  and  then  placed  all  those  brave 
fellows  who  followed  him  behind  a  hedge  along  the 
roadside ;  and  in  this  position  he  waited  to  receive  this 
famous  yeomanry  cavalry  returning  from  being  glutted 
with  all  manner  of  crimes  during  this  memorable  day— 
the  26th  of  May,  1798. 

About  nine  o'clock  at  night  this  corps,  riding  at 
great  speed,  encountered  the  above-mentioned  obstacle 
on  the  road,  and  were  at  the  same  moment  attacked 
from  front  to  rear  by  Father  John  and  his  brave  men 
with  their  pitch-forks.  The  cavalry  after  discharging 
their  pistols  got  no  time  to  reload  them  or  to  make 
much  use  of  their  sabres.  In  short,  they  were  literally 
lifted  out  of  their  saddles,  and  fell  dead  under  their 
horses'  feet.  Lieutenant  Bookey,  who  had  the  command 
in  the  absence  of  Earl  Mountnorris,  was  one  of  the  first 
killed  ;  he  was  a  sanguinary  villain,  and  it  seemed  a  just 
judgment  that  befell  them  all:  but  be  that  as  it  may, 
Father  John  and  his  men  were  much  elated  with  their 
victory,  and,  getting  arms,  ammunition,  and  horses  by 
it,  considered  themselves  formidable  and  able,  at  least, 
to  beat  the  cruel  yeomanry  in  every  rencounter.  They 
marched  at  once  to  Camolin  Park,  the  residence  of 
Lord  Mountnorris,  where  they  got  a  great  quantity  of 
arms  of  every  description  which  had  been  taken  from 
the  country  people  for  months  before,  and  even  the 
carabines  belonging  to  the  corps,  which  had  not  been 
distributed,  waiting  the  arrival  of  the  Earl  from  Dublin. 

During  the  night  and  the  next  day,  Whit  Sunday, 
the  2/th  of  May,  the  people  flocked  in  to  join  Father 
John's  standard  on  hearing  of  his  success ;  and  as  soon 
as  the  news  was  known  in  Gorey  the  troops  took  fright 
and  abandoned  the  town,  letting  the  prisoners  go  where 
they  pleased  But  finding  that  Father  John  had 


marched  in  another  direction,  they  returned  and  re- 
sumed their  persecutions  as  before :  they  again  arrested 
great  numbers  and  had  them  placed  in  the  market-house 
loft  ready  to  be  butchered  the  moment  the  Insurgents 
made  their  appearance  before  the  town.  Poor  Perry 
was  amongst  the  prisoners  and  in  a  dreadful  state, 
having  the  skin  as  well  as  the  hair  burnt  off  his  head. 
Esmond  Kyan  was  arrested  that  day,  and  made  a 

Father  John  might  have  marched  to  Gorey  and  even 
to  Arklow  without  meeting  with  much  resistance,  but 
he  thought  it  would  be  more  advisable  to  raise  the 
whole  county  of  Wexford  first,  and  get  possession  of 
the  principal  towns.  In  consequence  of  this  decision, 
on  Whit  Sunday,  the  2?th  of  May,  he  marched  with  all 
his  forces,  then  amounting  to  four  or  five  thousand  men, 
to  Oulard  Hill,  a  distance  of  ten  miles  from  Wexford 
and  five  from  Enniscorthy.  He  encamped  on  this  hill 
for  the  purpose  of  giving  an  opportunity  to  the  unfor- 
tunate people  who  were  hiding  to  come  and  join  him. 
He  soon  perceived  several  corps  of  yeomanry  cavalry 
in  sight,  but  all  keeping  at  a  certain  distance  from  the 
hill,  waiting  till  the  infantry  from  Wexford  arrived  to 
make  the  attack  first. 

Shortly  after  he  saw  a  large  force  on  the  march, 
flanked  by  some  cavalry,  and,  as  soon  as  they  began 
to  mount  the  hill,  Father  John  assembled  his  men,  and 
showed  them  the  different  corps  of  cavalry  that  were 
waiting,  he  said,  "  to  see  us  dispersed  by  the  foot  troops 
to  fall  on  us  and  to  cut  us  in  pieces ;  but  let  us  remain 
firm  together,  and  we  shall  surely  defeat  the  infantry, 
and  then  we  shall  have  nothing  to  dread  from  the 
cavalry,  as  they  are  too  great  cowards  to  venture  into 
the  action."  All  promised  to  conform  to  his  instruc- 
tions. "Well,  then,"  he  rejoined,  "we  must  march 
against  the  troops  that  are  mounting  the  hill,  and  when 


they  are  deployed  and  ready  to  begin  the  attack,  we 
must  retreat  precipitately  back  to  where  we  are,  and 
then  throw  ourselves  down  behind  this  old  ditch," 
pointing  to  a  boundary  on  the  top  of  the  hill  All  his 
instructions  were  executed  as  he  had  ordered. 


The  King's  troops  were  commanded  by  Colonel 
Foote  and  Major  Lombard,  and  as  soon  as  they  came 
within  about  two  muskets  shot  of  the  Insurgents  they 
deployed  and  prepared  for  action,  but  became  enraged 
when  they  saw  the  Insurgents  retreating  back  to  the 
top  of  the  hill ;  however,  they  followed  quickly,  knowing 
that  the  hill  was  completely  surrounded  by  the  several 
corps  of  yeomanry  cavalry,  and  that  it  was  impossible 
for  the  Insurgents  to  escape  before  they  came  in 
with  them. 

Father  John  allowed  the  infantry  to  come  within 
half  musket  shot  of  the  ditch,  and  then  a  few  men  on 
each  flank  and  in  the  centre  stood  up,  at  the  sight  of 
which  the  whole  line  of  infantry  fired  a  volley.  In- 
stantly Father  John  and  all  his  men  sallied  out  and 
attacked  the  soldiers,  who  were  in  the  act  of  re-charging 
their  arms ;  and,  although  they  made  the  best  fight 
they  could  with  their  muskets  and  bayonets,  they  were 
soon  overpowered  and  completely  defeated  by  the 
pikemen,  or,  rather,  by  the  men  with  pitch-forks  and 
other  weapons;  for  very  few  had  pikes  at  this  battle 
on  account  of  having  given  them  up  by  the  exhortations 
and  advice  of  the  priests. 

Of  this  formidable  expedition,  which  was  sent  from 
Wexford,  on  the  2/th  of  May,  to  exterminate  the  In- 
surgents, very  few  returned  to  bring  the  woeful  tidings 
of  their  defeat,  and  the  glorious  victory  obtained  by 


the  people  over  their  cruel  tyrants.  Of  the  North  Cork 
party  that  had  been  the  scourge  of  the  country  for 
several  months  previous,  and  so  distinguished  for  mak- 
ing Orangemen,  hanging,  picketing,  putting  on  pitch- 
caps,  etc.,  Major  Lombard,  the  Hon.  Captain 
De  Courcy,  Lieutenants  Williams,  Ware,  Barry,  and 
Ensign  Keogh,  with  all  the  privates  but  two,  were  left 
dead  on  the  field  of  battle.  In  short,  none  escaped  ex- 
cept Colonel  Foote,  a  sergeant,  a  drummer,  and  the  two 
privates  mentioned  above.  The  Insurgents  had  but 
three  killed  and  five  or  six  wounded.  The  Shelmalier 
cavalry,  commanded  by  Colonel  Lehunt,  as  well  as  the 
different  corps  of  cavalry  that  surrounded  the  hill  dur- 
ing the  battle  and  did  not  take  any  part  in  the  action, 
in  their  precipitate  retreat  to  Wexford,  Enniscorthy  and 
Gorey,  shot  every  man  they  met  on  the  road ;  went  to 
the  houses,  called  the  people  to  their  doors  and  put 
them  to  death :  many  who  were  asleep  shared  the  same 
fate,  their  houses  being  mostly  burned 

Solomon  Richards,  commander  of  the  Enniscorthy 
cavalry,  and  Hawtry  White,  who  commanded  all  the 
troops  of  cavalry  sent  from  Gorey  to  exterminate  the 
people,  surpassed  any  description  that  could  be  given 
of  the  cruel  deeds  of  those  cowardly  monsters,  who  ran 
away  that  memorable  day — Whit  Sunday,  the  27th  of 
May,  1798.  They  little  thought,  however,  that  for 
every  one  they  put  to  death  in  cold  blood,  they  were 
sending  thousands  to  join  the  Insurgent  camp. 

Father  John  and  his  little  army  now  became  quite 
flushed  with  their  last  victory.  Seeing  the  King's 
troops  flying  and  escaping  in  every  direction,  they  were 
at  a  loss  to  know  which  division  they  should  pursue ; 
they  however,  having  as  yet  no  cavalry,  marched  from 
Oulard  Hill,  and  encamped  for  the  night  on  Carrigrew 
Hill.  Next  morning,  the  28th  of  May,  at  seven  o'clock, 
they  marched  to  Camolin,  and  from  thence  to  Ferns. 


Not  meeting  with  any  of  the  King's  troops  in  this  town 
to  oppose  them,  and  having  learned  that  they  had  re- 
treated to  Gorey  and  to  Enniscorthy,  Father  John 
resolved  at  once  to  attack  this  last  town.  In  order  to 
afford  a  better  opportunity  to  the  brave  and  unfortunate 
country  people  to  escape  from  their  hiding  places  and 
come  to  join  his  standard,  he  and  his  little  army  crossed 
the  Slaney  by  the  bridge  at  Scarawalsh,  and  certainly 
this  skilful  manoeuvre  or  countermarch  had  the  happiest 
result;  for  immediately  on  crossing  the  river  he  was 
joined  by  crowds,  and  amongst  them  many  of  those 
splendid  young  men  who  so  much  distinguished  them- 
selves in  every  action  afterwards  against  the  enemies 
of  their  country,  such  as  Ned  Fennell,  John  Doyle  of 
Ballyellis,  Nick  Murphy  of  Monaseed,  Michael  Red- 
mond and  Murt  Murnagh,  from  Little  Limerick. 
Thomas  Synnott,  of  Kilbride,  though  not  so  young  as 
many  of  the  others,  surpassed  them  in  activity.  In  short, 
all  the  fine,  brave  young  men  of  the  most  respectable 
class  of  farmers  in  the  neighbourhood  joined  on  this 
memorable  day.  All  of  them  agreed  to  obey  and 
comply  with  Father  John's  instructions,  and  to  have  his 
order  strictly  executed ;  offering  him,  at  the  same  time, 
their  opinions  on  the  best  way  of  carrying  on  the  war : 
to  all  of  which  this  courageous,  simple  man,  listened 
with  delight.  Thus  he  became  general-in-chief  provi- 
sionally. Would  to  God  he  had  been  confirmed  in  this 
rank  all  through!  His  lieutenants  now  only  vied  with 
each  other  in  showing  their  skill  and  bravery  against 
the  cruel  enemy  that  had  been  desolating  the  country 
for  months. 

These  young  men  only  wanted  a  little  drilling  to 
become  great  leaders  and  excellent  officers  to  enable 
them  to  obtain  by  their  courage  and  tolerance  the  com- 
plete independence  of  Ireland.  Nothing  could  be  farther 
from  their  views  than  a  religious  war.  The  best  proof 


of  this  assertion  is  their  love  and  sincere  attachment 
to  Perry  and  all  the  other  Protestant  chiefs  embarked 
with  them  in  this  holy  struggle  to  get  rid  of  the  cruel 
English  yoke,  and  to  have  established,  in  its  stead, 
perfect  toleration  for  every  creed  and  religious  persua- 
sion— that  is  to  say,  civil  and  religious  liberty  for  all  to 
the  greatest  extent  possible.  Such  was  the  sacred 
engagement  of  the  United  Irishmen  to  one  another 
from  the  commencement  of  the  war,  which  they  never 
suffered  to  be  violated  in  their  capacity  as  chiefs,  when- 
ever they  had  the  means  to  prevent  it.  Yet,  because 
three  or  four  priests  were  driven  from  their  neutral 
position  by  the  blood-thirsty  Orangemen  to  join  the 
people's  camp,  the  English  Government  wished  to 
stamp  the  war  in  Ireland  of  1/98  as  merely  a  religious 
war,  carried  on  by  priests.  Yet  now,  strange  to  say, 
this  same  Government  and  English  nation  holds  up  to 
the  skies  as  the  greatest  heroes  of  the  age  those  bishops 
and  priests  who  marched  forward  with  the  crucifix  as 
their  standard  at  the  head  of  the  people  in  Spain, 
Portugal,  Hungary,  and  Lombardy,  to  drive  the  French 
and  Austrians  from  their  various  countries.  The  unfor- 
tunate Irish  Roman  Catholic  priests  of  that  day  did  not 
show  their  love  of  country  as  the  Spanish  and  Italian 
clergy  did.  The  priests  saved  the  infamous  English  / 
Government  in  Ireland  from  destruction,  and  for  their  | 
pious  assiduity  and  earnest  endeavours  on  this  occasion  i 
to  keep  the  people  in  thraldom  they  were  but  poorly 
recompensed.  With  the  exception  of  Dr.  Troy,  the 
Catholic  Archbishop  of  Dublin,  few  or  none  got  favours 
for  themselves  or  their  friends.  Had  ten  counties  of 
Ireland  produced  each  at  the  same  time  a  Father 
John  Murphy,  with  his  success,  the  remaining  thirty-two 
would  all  have  followed  the  example.  Then  the  English 
forces  would  have  been  obliged  to  have  evacuated  the 
country;  their  army,  reduced  by  desertion  and  sick- 


ness,  would  have  been  overwhelmed  in  every  part  by 
the  multitude  of  people  pouring  in  upon  them  in  every 

I  feel  this  long  digression  necessary  at  this  epoch 
of  my  narrative,  on  account  of  the  great  pains  taken  by 
the  enemies  of  the  independence  of  Ireland  to  make  it 
appear  that  the  Catholic  United  Irishmen  had  no  other 
object  in  view  than  retaliation  and  revenge  on  their 
Protestant  fellow-countrymen  during  the  war.  If  none 
but  the  slanderer  Sir  Richard  Musgrave  had  propagated 
such  a  calumny  I  would  not  deign  to  refute  it ;  but  the 
book-making  bigot,  the  Protestant  minister  Gordon, 
whilst  he  allows  that  the  greatest  atrocities  and  murders 
were  committed  by  the  Protestant  yeomanry  on  the 
unarmed  and  innocent  Catholics  previous  to  the  rising, 
still  condemns  Father  John  Murphy  as  a  vulgar,  fero- 
cious fanatic,  because  he  had  the  courage  to  take  the 
field  and  give  battle  to  those  blood-thirsty  troops,  in 
which  Gordon's  son  was  an  officer.  Is  this  impartial 
history  ? 

On  the  other  hand,  honest  Edward  Hay,  one  of  the 
Catholic  aristocracy,  who  had  his  brother  executed  in 
Wexford  as  an  United  Irishman  and  chief  of  the  In- 
surgents, wishes  to  make  it  appear,  in  his  narrative,  that 
there  were  very  few  United  Irishmen  in  his  country — the 
county  of  Wexford — because  the  reports  found  at 
Oliver  Bond's  scarcely  made  mention  of  the  county  of 
Wexford.  The  reason  is  simple.  The  County  Delegate, 
Robert  Graham,  had  the  pood  fortune  to  arrive  too  late 
at  Bond's,  and  escaped  Therefore  his  report  of  men 
and  arms  to  the  provincial  meeting  could  not  be  ascer- 

In  another  page  Edward  Hay  tells  that,  from  the 
exhortations  and  exertions  of  the  priests  in  every 
parish,  the  pikes  were  surrendered  and  generally  lodged 
in  the  chapels  at  night.  He  also  mentions  that  Bagenal 
Harvey  had  brought  all  from  his  district  the  day  he  was 


arrested.  Thus,  as  none  but  United  Irishmen  would 
risk  having  pikes,  and  they  were  discovered  everywhere, 
it  proves  that  the  great  mass  of  the  people  were  United 
Irishmen.  The  Government  knew  it  perfectly.  There- 
fore it  is  useless  to  strive  to  maintain  that  the  county 
of  Wexford  people  were  less  desirous  than  those  of 
other  counties  to  shake  off  the  yoke  of  England. 

What  a  misfortune  for  Ireland  not  to  be  able  to 
produce  one  historian  who  could  boast  that  he  was 
neither  a  place-hunter,  placeman,  or  pensioner  of  the 
English  Government !  To  such  a  man  the  most  valuable 
materials  could  be  furnished.  What  a  pity  and  misfortune 
that  the  author  of  "  Captain  Rock  "  did  not  possess  a 
thousand  a  year,  or  at  least  an  independence  which 
might  have  enabled  him  to  live  out  of  England!  He 
could  have  brought  his  History  of  Ireland  down  to  the 
Union  and  even  later,  instead  of  leaving  it  off  at  the 
reign  of  Henry  VIII. ;  thereby  he  would  have  had  an 
opportunity  of  doing  justice  to  Father  John,  and  to  all 
those  brave  patriots  of  1798,  who  sacrificed  everything 
dear  to  them,  life,  fortune,  all  the  enjoyments  on  earth, 
to  see  Ireland  free  and  governed  by  Irishmen,  and  as 
she  ought  to  be,  in  place  of  being  the  last  and  most 
unfortunate  country  on  the  face  of  the  globe. 

Another  Irishman  who  took  upon  himself  to  write 
and  publish  the  history  of  the  brave  United  Irishmen 
says  "he  is  not  for  revolutions  made  by  the  sabre." 
But  as  this  declaration  coincides  so  well  with  the  fulsome 
cant  of  "not  spilling  one  drop  of  blood,"  I  shall  leave 
these  divines  to  be  judged  by  posterity,  and  return  to 
Father  John  Murphy,  who  would  have  been  the  last 
man  in  the  world  to  transgress  the  divine  laws  of  his 
religion.  By  acting  as  he  did  to  resist  English  mur- 
derers, he  showed  to  the  tyrants  of  the  earth  how 
dangerous  it  is  to  drive  even  slaves  to  desperation. 
His  success  in  this  just  war  affords  a  fine  specimen  of 
what  a  people  are  capable  when  resolved  to  be  free. 


HILL,  28TH  MAY,  1798. 

As  soon  as  it  was  decided  to  attack  the  town  of 
Enniscorthy,  Father  John  marched  his  little  army  to  the 
hill  of  Ballyorrel.  I  still  call  it  his  army,  amounting  now 
to  about  seven  or  eight  thousand  men,  six  or  seven 
hundred  of  whom  were  armed  with  muskets  or  fowling- 
pieces,  and  tolerably  supplied  with  ammunition :  but  not 
having  either  artillery  or  cavalry,  it  required  the  greatest 
care  and  precaution  to  provide  provisions  and  have 
them  always  at  hand,  to  leave  no  pretext  to  the  men  to 
quit  the  camp  in  search  of  them ;  consequently  a  park 
of  cattle  was  soon  collected  and  driven  by  careful  men 
at  the  rear  of  the  column.  A  halt  on  this  hill  of  Bally- 
orrel became  necessary,  after  a  march  of  six  hours,  in 
order  to  let  those  who  were  fatigued  repose  themselves. 
Besides,  vast  numbers  were  seen  escaping  from  the 
Orangemen  and  marching  towards  the  hill.  Amongst 
these  was  the  Rev.  Michael  Murphy,  of  Ballycarnew, 
who  was  accompanied  by  several  fine  young  fellows, 
who,  though  badly  armed,  had  all  some  kind  of  weapon, 
and  each  longed  for  an  opportunity  to  use  them. 

Every  disposition  that  could  be  thought  of  was  now 
in  readiness,  and  at  half -past  one  o'clock  Father  John, 
at  the  head  of  his  little  army,  left  the  hill  and  marched 
to  attack  Enniscorthy.  A  small  advance  guard  of  two 
hundred  men,  with  fire-arms,  flanked  by  some  pikemen, 
preceded  him.  They  were  met  at  the  Duffrey  Gate, 
outside  of  the  town,  by  the  whole  military  force  of  the 
garrison,  composed  of  several  corps  of  infantry  and 


cavalry,  commanded  by  Captains  Pounden,  Cornocks, 
Richards,  Jacobs,  etc.,  with  the  exception  of  Captain 
Snow,  of  the  North  Cork  Militia,  who  did  not  think  it 
prudent  to  quit  the  town  and  march  with  the  infantry 
under  his  orders :  probably  in  consequence  of  the  severe 
lesson  which  his  regiment  had  received  the  day  before 
on  Oulard  Hill.  But  be  that  as  it  may,  Father  John's 
advance  guard  was  attacked  and  charged  desperately 
by  the  Enniscorthy  cavalry  the  moment  it  approached 
the  Duffrey  Gate,  and  was  forced,  not  to  retreat,  but 
to  get  behind  the  ditches  on  each  side  of  the  road, 
and  thus  escaped  the  fury  of  the  further  charges  of  the 
cavalry,  who  had  to  fall  back  on  their  infantry  corps 
that  were  placed  in  the  rear,  at  the  point  where  two  or 
three  roads  join  leading  into  the  town  from  the  Duffrey 

Father  John,  fearing  it  would  be  very  difficult  to  get 
his  pikemen  to  attack  this  mass  of  infantry  so  well 
posted,  flanked  on  one  side  by  the  River  Slaney,  and 
on  the  other  by  houses  and  walls,  from  which  a  con- 
tinual fire  was  kept  up,  and  many  of  his  men  killed 
when  they  advanced,  bethought  himself  of  a  stratagem, 
after  consulting  with  the  other  leaders;  it  consisted  in 
getting  some  thirty  or  forty  of  the  youngest  and  wildest 
of  the  cattle  brought  from  the  rear  of  his  column, 
goaded  on  by  some  hundreds  of  brave,  decided  pikemen, 
which  immediately  threw  the  Enniscorthy  infantry  into 
the  greatest  confusion.  The  more  they  fired  the  more 
the  cattle  and  their  drivers  advanced  through  the  smoke 
and  balls,  until  the  line  was  completely  broken,  and  all 
forced  to  retreat  precipitately  into  the  town,  where 
Captain  Snow  and  his  infantry  had  remained  on  the 
bridge,  and  secured  thus  the  passage  to  this  panic- 
stricken  army,  that  boasted  in  the  morning  they  would 
never  return  until  all  the  Insurgents  were  exterminated 
They  now,  however,  betook  themselves  to  the  houses, 


from  which  a  tremendous  firing  was  kept  up  from  the 
windows  and  doors  on  the  Insurgents,  who  bravely  pur- 
sued them  into  the  town.  Though  exposed  to  the 
greatest  danger  under  the  terrible  fire,  and  seeing  their 
comrades  fall  dead  by  their  side,  yet  the  people  set  to 
work  calmly  and  determinedly  to  besiege  every  house 
where  the  enemy  took  refuge.  Such  perseverance  and 
courage  finally  succeeded.  The  King's  troops,  seeing 
some  houses  on  fire  in  the  suburbs,  on  the  road  to 
Wexford,  and  a  great  number  of  people  appearing 
suddenly  on  the  top  of  Vinegar  Hill,  which  commands 
the  town  completely,  believed  they  were  going  to 
be  attacked  on  all  sides;  and  from  what  they  had 
already  experienced  of  the  intrepidity  of  this  gallant 
little  Irish  army,  they  suddenly  sounded  a  retreat,  and 
fled  to  Wexford  in  the  greatest  disorder,  abandoning 
the  town  without  being  able  to  put  their  threats  into 
execution,  to  have  all  the  prisoners  put  to  death  that 
were  confined  in  the  castle.  Fortunately  the  keeper  of 
the  prison  was  one  of  the  first  to  escape,  and  took  the 
keys  with  him,  so  the  cruel  Orangemen  were  disap- 
pointed, not  having  time  to  have  the  doors  broken  open 
before  their  flight. 

But  had  Father  John's  army  been  less  fatigued  and 
exhausted  after  the  long  march  made  in  the  morning 
and  fighting  all  day,  without  having  had  time  to  take 
any  nourishment,  half  this  infernal  band  would  have 
been  made  prisoners  before  they  reached  Wexford ;  for 
they  neither  observed  order  nor  discipline  on  the  way : 
officers  taking  off  their  epaulets  and  other  marks  of  dis- 
tinction to  try  to  pass  for  privates  in  the  event  of  being 
overtaken  by  the  people.  No  doubt  they  fought  bravely 
and  defended  themselves  as  well  as  they  could  during 
the  battle  until  they  were  overpowered ;  but  I  will  never 
call  a  man  brave  who  kills  his  fellow-man  in  cold  blood 
whom  he  finds  unarmed  and  unable  to  resist.  This  was 


the  kind  of  bravery  the  military  were  practising1  every- 
where throughout  the  country  previous  to  the  Insurrec- 
tion, without  having  the  pretext  or  excuse  of  reprisals 
or  retaliation  of  any  kind — cowardly  murderers,  wan- 
tonly committing  all  sorts  of  crimes  for  months  before ; 
and  now  they  were  forced  to  abandon  their  houses  and 
for  the  greater  part  to  leave  their  families  behind  them 
at  the  mercy  of  this  brave  army  that  took  the  town  by 
storm  and  after  a  battle  that  lasted  more  than  four 
hours,  and  during  the  latter  part  of  which  the  people 
had  to  fight  with  the  greatest  disadvantage.  Yet,  com- 
pare and  contrast  their  conduct  after  the  victory  with 
that  of  the  cruel  yeomanry  and  military.  There  were 
no  houses  burned  or  pillaged  after  the  town  was  taken : 
yet  the  victors  did  not  want  for  pretexts  for  reprisals 
and  revenge.  The  houses  were,  however,  searched  for 
arms  and  ammunition,  for  the  people  stood  in  the 
greatest  need  of  ammunition,  having  used  almost  all 
they  had  during  the  battle. 

No  doubt  the  sudden  flight  of  many  of  the  families 
belonging  to  the  yeomanry  excited  the  greatest  sym- 
pathy, when  they  arrived  in  Wexford,  amongst  the  in- 
habitants of  every  class ;  but  there  was  little  pity  shown 
to  the  unfortunate  women  and  children  who  had  been 
forced  to  sleep  out  in  the  ditches  for  weeks  before,  and 
whose  husbands  and  fathers  were  hunted  day  and 
night  by  this  same  yeomanry,  and  who  were  sure  to  be 
shot  if  they  fell  into  the  hands  of  those  blood-thirsty 
monsters,  who  were  a  disgrace  to  humanity. 

A  camp  was  immediately  formed  on  Vinegar  Hill, 
and  the  Irish  army  marched  there  without  delay  to  pass 
the  night.  A  report  that  fresh  troops  were  coming  to 
attack  them  had  the  best  effect,  as  it  caused  all  the 
stragglers  to  quit  the  town  and  join  their  respective 
corps  on  the  hill 

The  numbers   of  killed    and    wounded  was   nearly 


equal  on  both  sides ;  however,  in  the  town,  the  people 
had  more  killed,  on  account  of  having  been  fired  at  from 
the  houses  as  they  entered.  But  at  the  Duffrey  Gate 
the  King's  troops  had  more  than  a  hundred  killed,  with 
several  officers;  Captain  John  Pounden,  of  the  Ennis- 
corthy  infantry,  Lieutenant  Hunt,  of  the  yeomanry,  and 
Lieutenant  Garden,  of  the  Scarawalsh  infantry,  were 
found  amongst  the  dead  after  the  battle. 

I  trust  that  one  day,  when  poor  Ireland  will  be  free, 
there  will  be  a  monument  raised  to  the  memory  of 
those  brave  men  who  so  heroically  contributed  to  gain 
the  battle  of  Enniscorthy :  to  Thomas  Synnott,  who, 
with  his  little  band,  waded  the  river  Slaney,  above  the 
town,  under  the  fire  of  the  enemy ;  and  to  those  fine 
fellows  in  the  suburbs,  who  set  fire  to  their  own  houses 
in  the  rear  of  the  King's  troops,  and  made  them  thereby 
suppose  that  they  were  surrounded  on  all  sides,  and 
caused  them  to  fly  with  confusion  in  every  direction. 


It  would  be  indeed  difficult  to  appreciate  the  great 
and  precious  results  that  might  have  been  obtained  after 
the  victory  at  Enniscorthy  for  the  independence  of  Ire- 
land, had  this  victory  been  promptly  followed  up  by 
another,  which  could  have  been  easily  accomplished  the 
day  after  the  battle — the  2Qth  of  May — in  place  of 
waiting  on  Vinegar  Hill  to  receive  deputations  from  the 
garrison  of  Wexford,  which  had  literally  capitulated  by 
letting  out  their  prisoners,  and  sending  these  same 
prisoners  to  make  terms  for  them,  or,  in  other  words, 
to  give  them  time  to  escape.  The  entire  Irish  forces, 
amounting  then  to  ten  or  twelve  thousand,  should  have 
marched  at  once  on  New  Ross,  which  town  they  would 
have  readily  taken,  for  the  military  there  were  equally 


terror-struck  as  those  of  Wexford  From  New  Ross, 
the  army  could  follow  the  River  Barrow  to  Carlow,  and 
this  rapid  march  would  have  afforded  an  opportunity 
to  the  Queen's  County  as  well  as  the  county  of  Kil- 
kenny to  rise  in  a  mass  and  form  camps  of  their  own ; 
and  on  the  same  day,  the  2gth,  three  or  four  thousand 
could  have  been  spared,  and  sent  to  take  Bunclody  or 
Newtownbarry,  where  the  troops  were  also  terror- 
stricken,  in  place  of  giving  them  time  to  recover  from 
their  panic  to  the  first  of  June,  four  days  later,  when 
the  town  was  taken,  but  evacuated  the  same  day,  on 
account  of  reinforcements  coming  to  the  aid  of  the  gar- 
rison. Newtownbarry  in  possession  of  the  Irish  army, 
they  could  have  followed  up  their  victory  along  the 
River  Slaney  to  Tullow,  where  those  brave  men  who 
failed  at  Carlow,  on  the  25th  of  May,  would  all  have 
joined,  and  have  had  a  better  occasion  and  more  time 
to  prepare  for  new  combats. 

Another  great  advantage  would  have  been  obtained 
by  this  rapid  march :  Garrett  Byrne,  of  Ballymanus, 
would  have  marched,  with  his  brave  county  of  Wicklow 
men,  to  this  camp,  and  the  junction  once  formed,  he  would 
have  had  the  chief  command,  which  would  have  had 
the  happiest  effect,  as  he  enjoyed  the  highest  considera- 
tion, and  was  beloved  and  esteemed  by  all.  All  would 
have  obeyed  and  executed  his  orders  most  willingly. 
But  instead  of  this,  those  brave  Wicklow  men  were 
making  night  marches,  in  groups  of  twenties,  to  join  the 
camp  at  Vinegar  Hill.  By  the  time  they  arrived  it  was 
not  men  that  was  wanting ;  for  the  brave  and  dauntless 
Thomas  Cloney,  of  Moneyhore,  joined  the  camp  on  the 
29th  of  May,  at  the  head  of  a  splendid  corps  of  fine, 
determined  fellows.  Cloney,  though  young,  being  about 
twenty-four  years  of  age,  was  a  man  of  the  soundest 
judgment,  the  purest  honour,  and  coolest  bravery,  and 
well  fitted  to  be  a  chief.  He  was  six  feet  two  or  three 


inches  high,  well  proportioned,  and  handsome.  He 
would,  had  the  war  continued  and  succeeded,  not  only 
have  become  a  good  general,  but  a  statesman  and 
senator.  He  was  ever  ready  to  save  the  lives  of  all 
prisoners,  and  often  at  the  risk  of  his  own:  still  he 
was  cruelly  persecuted  for  his  humanity  and  upright- 
ness. His  long  imprisonment  and  sufferings  are  well 
known  to  every  true  Irish  patriot.  I  feel  at  a  loss  for 
expressions  to  do  justice  to  the  memory  of  Mr.  Cloney ; 
I  knew  him  well,  and  as  I  shall  have  to  speak  of  him 
often  before  my  narrative  is  finished,  I  shall  endeavour 
to  make  amends  for  any  omissions  of  what  could  have 
redounded  to  his  honour. 

Another  gentleman,  one  of  the  purest  Irish  patriots 
that  ever  lived,  joined  the  people's  camp  at  Enniscorthy 
on  the  29th  of  May.  William  Barker  was  a  wealthy 
resident  of  the  town,  connected  not  only  with  all  the 
Catholic  aristocracy  of  the  county,  but  nearly  allied  to 
the  first  Protestant  families  of  the  town  and  county ; 
not  belonging  to  any  political  society  whatever,  he  did 
not  hesitate  to  take  a  command  when  a  chance  offered 
to  set  Ireland  independent  and  free.  He  had,  in  my 
mind,  more  merit  than  almost  anyone  who  took  part 
in  this  war. 

Mr.  Barker  having  served  with  distinction  in  France 
in  one  of  the  Irish  Brigades,  Walsh's  regiment,  the 
people  had  great  confidence  in  his  experience  as  an 
officer  and  brave  soldier,  and  were  therefore  ready  to 
obey  and  execute  his  orders.  His  brilliant  conduct  at 
the  battle  of  Vinegar  Hill,  on  the  2ist  of  June,  where, 
at  the  head  of  the  division,  he  commanded  the  important 
post  at  the  Duffrey  Gate  against  the  English  troops,  and 
where  he  lost  his  arm,  proved  that  the  people  had  made 
a  good  choice.  But  I  shall  enter  more  fully  on  that 
subject  when  I  come  to  describe  the  battle.  Mr.  Barker, 
being  consulted,  proposed  at  once  to  march  to  take 


New  Ross  the  same  day,  which  would  probably  have 
been  accomplished  without  much  loss,  the  panic  then 
being  so  great  amongst  the  King's  troops.  Unfortu- 
nately Mr.  Barker  was  outvoted  by  the  other  chiefs, 
all  of  whom  wished  to  take  Wexford  first.  No  doubt 
it  was  of  great  importance  to  have  the  county  town  at 
once,  but  it  was  of  still  greater  importance  not  to  give 
the  enemy  eight  days  to  recruit  their  forces  at  New 
Ross,  as  was  the  case,  for  it  was  not  attacked  till  the 
5th  of  June.  Had  it  been  taken  on  the  2Qth  of  May  it 
would  have  opened  a  communication  and  roused  the 
people  of  the  whole  province  of  Munster  to  take  up 
arms  against  the  common  foe,  as  it  was  the  key  and 
leading  road  into  that  country,  where  there  were  few 
regular  troops ;  and  as  to  the  yeomen  cavalry,  they  were 
only  good  for  shooting  the  poor  defenceless  people  in 
cold  blood,  and  in  the  event  of  a  general  rising  their 
cruel  conduct  would  soon  have  proved  more  prejudicial 
to  the  King's  army  than  to  the  Irish,  as  it  would  drive 
everyone  able  to  carry  arms  to  join  the  Irish  standard. 
The  people  of  the  adjoining  counties  of  Waterford, 
Tipperary,  and  Kilkenny,  not  rising  at  this  critical  mo- 
ment, afflicted  and  saddened  the  lovers  of  the  inde- 
pendence of  Ireland,  for  the  awful  crisis  had  arrived 
when  every  true-hearted  Irishman  should  have  taken  up 
arms  to  drive  the  common  enemy  out  of  his  country. 
It  was  not  want  of  courage,  but  want  of  unanimity 
amongst  the  chiefs  to  take  the  field,  according  to  the 
pledges  or  promises  they  had  solemnly  given.  No  doubt 
many  of  them  were  absent  or  in  prison,  but  still  suffi- 
cient remained  to  head  the  people  to  victory,  and  to 
follow  the  sublime  example  of  the  brave  people  of  the 
county  of  Wexford.  But  alas !  the  destiny  of  poor  Ire- 
land is  still  depending  on  chance,  as  it  was  in  December, 
1796,  when  General  Grouchy,  in  the  absence  of  General 
Hoche,  failed,  not  from  want  of  courage,  but  of  a  fixed 



determination,  to  land  at  once  the  French  army  then 
under  his  command  in  Ireland,  and  march  straightfor- 
ward to  Dublin,  there  being  no  English  forces  sufficient 
in  the  country  at  the  time  to  oppose  him.  On  the  con- 
trary, more  than  a  hundred  thousand  Irishmen  would 
have  joined  him  before  he  had  reached  the  capital, 
where  he  would  have  found  the  means  of  equipping 
and  arming  them  in  a  very  short  time. 

I  may  be  asked,  if  it  was  so  easy  to  raise  a  hundred 
thousand  men,  why  not  do  the  business  without  French 
aid  ?  The  reply  is  simple :  a  rallying  point  and  arms 
were  wanting  to  the  Irish  patriots  of  1796.  But  the 
battle  and  victory  of  Enniscorthy,  in  1798,  would,  in  a 
great  measure,  have  supplied  those  deficiencies,  had  two 
great  faults  not  been  committed  after  this  victory. 
The  first  I  have  already  described,  which  was  not  hav- 
ing followed  Mr.  Barker's  advice  to  march  on  the  29th 
of  May  to  New  Ross,  in  place  of  Wexford,  and  thereby 
afford  an  opportunity  to  the  province  of  Munster  to  rise 
en  masse.  This  general  rising  would  give  sufficient 
occupation  to  the  King's  regular  troops ;  and  as  to  the 
yeomanry,  I  have  said  before  they  were  rendering  ser- 
vice to  the  Irish  army  by  their  cruelty  to  the  people 
who  had  not  joined  the  camp. 

The  second  great  fault  was,  having  concentrated  the 
Irish  forces  at  Vinegar  Hill,  there  to  wait  and  accept  a 
general  battle  on  the  2ist  of  June,  with  scarcely  any 
pieces  of  artillery  or  cavalry  of  any  kind,  against  the 
English  army,  well  supplied  with  both.  Nothing  was 
more  easy  than  to  have  avoided  this  battle,  if  the  divi- 
sion which  came  from  the  county  of  Wicklow,  in  place 
of  marching  to  Vinegar  Hill  to  cover  Wexford,  had 
marched  into  the  mountains  of  the  county  of  Wicklow, 
where  it  had  nothing  to  dread  from  either  cavalry  or 
artillery ;  and  by  this  manoeuvre  approaching  Dublin, 
the  English  division  would  have  been  obliged  to  fall 


back  immediately  to  cover  the  capital.  Thus  the  war 
would  have  been  prolonged  until  the  French  landed 
in  August,  under  General  Humbert.  Although  the 
forces  which  this  brave  general  brought  only  consisted 
of  a  detachment  of  eight  hundred  men,  from  the  moral 
effect  it  would  have  had,  it  would  have  been  quite 
sufficient  to  raise  the  three  provinces  en  masse:  for  all 
knew  well  that  other  expeditions  were  in  readiness  to 
sail  from  France  to  reinforce  General  Humbert's  ad- 
vance guard,  for  as  such  it  was  considered.  Then  the 
ever-to-be-lamented  Tone,  Tandy,  and  many  other 
chiefs  would  have  accompanied  French  troops  to  every 
part  of  Ireland,  when  the  people  would  have  rallied 
round  them  as  their  liberators. 

I  thought  this  long  digression  necessary  to  prove  and 
to  explain  the  immense  importance  of  the  victory  gained 
at  Enniscorthy,  had  it  been  rapidly  followed  up  by  one 
or  two  more,  which  at  that  time  could  have  been  so 
easily  obtained.  It  was  only  necessary  to  continue  to 
obey  for  a  few  days  longer  those  chiefs  under  whose 
command  the  last  two  battles  were  gained,  and  to  wait 
to  make  a  proper  choice  of  a  commander-in-chief  and 
staff  from  amongst  the  splendid  young  fellows  who  were 
distinguishing  themselves  in  every  combat  against  the 
common  enemy. 


THE  camp  of  Vinegar  Hill  on  the  morning  of  the  2pth 
May,  1798,  after  the  victory,  presented  one  of  the  most 
glorious  and  splendid  scenes  that  ever  occurred  for  the 
independence  of  Ireland.  The  finest  young  fellows  that 
any  country  in  the  world  could  produce  were  pouring 
in  from  all  directions,  but  particularly  from  the  barony 
of  Bargy  and  the  country  leading  to  Ross.  No  doubt 
great  confusion  and  excitement  prevailed,  but  it  was  the 
excitement  of  a  mass  of  people  beseeching  their  leaders 
to  lead  them  on  to  victory,  which  they  could  not  fail  to 
obtain,  so  bent  were  they  on  meeting  the  enemy  and 
on  having  an  opportunity  of  being  revenged  on  the 
cruel  monsters  who  were  committing  every  crime,  violat- 
ing the  women,  burning  the  houses,  shooting  the  owners 
in  cold  blood  at  their  doors,  in  the  presence  of  their 
wives  and  daughters,  etc.  The  disputes  between  con- 
tending parties  respecting  the  next  town  to  be  attacked 
were  very  warm  indeed ;  some  wished  to  return  to 
Gorey,  which  they  knew  was  again  occupied  by  the 
King's  troops;  others  wished  to  march  on  Carnew  to 
take  vengeance  for  the  slaughter  of  the  twenty-eight 
fathers  of  families  slaughtered  there  previous  to  the 
Insurrection,  without  judge  or  jury,  save  the  Protestant 
minister  Cope,  who  presided  at  the  massacre.  Many 
came  forward  to  show  themselves  as  victims,  caps  with 
boiling  pitch  having  been  put  on  their  heads,  because 
they  had  had  their  hair  cropped  short.  These  not  only 
brought  off  the  skin  but  the  flesh  in  many  instances; 
numbers  by  this  inhuman  treatment  were  disfigured  for 
life.  Some  who  had  been  picketed  and  half  hung 
claimed  the  right  of  vengeance  on  the  towns  where 
these  unheard  of  persecutions  had  been  perpetrated. 


Such  were  the  conflicting  scenes  to  be  witnessed  on 
this  memorable  morning  at  the  camp  of  Vinegar  Hill. 

The  brave  men  who  gained  the  battles  of  Oulard 
Hill  and  Enniscorthy,  though  they  were  fifteen  and 
twenty  miles  from  their  homes,  being  mostly  from  the 
north  and  north-east  of  the  town,  still  agreed  with  the 
thousands  of  young  fellows  who  had  just  joined  the 
camp  to  march  forthwith  and  attack  Ross,  when,  un- 
fortunately, the  appearance  of  Edward  Fitzgerald,  of 
New  Park,  and  John  Colclough,  of  Ballyteague,  changed 
this  plan.  These  gentlemen  had  been  for  some  days 
prisoners  with  Bagenal  Harvey  in  Wexford  Jail,  charged 
with  being  United  Irishmen.  They  were  liberated,  and 
requested  to  go  to  the  people's  camp  on  Vinegar  Hill 
to  pray  them  to  disperse  and  give  up  their  arms,  etc. 
The  absurdity  of  telling  a  victorious  army  to  disperse 
and  go  to  their  homes,  and  there  wait  until  they  might 
be  shot  in  detail,  showed  how  panic-struck  the  cowardly 
garrison  of  Wexford  was,  and  how  easy  it  would  have 
been  to  have  captured  them  and  to  have  forced  them 
to  lay  down  their  arms  had  there  been  a  rapid  march 
made  on  the  town,  instead  of  the  circuitous  one  to  the 
Three  Rock  Mountain,  which  was  made  on  the  29th, 
and  which  gave  the  King's  troops  time  to  recover  from 
their  panic,  and  wait  for  the  reinforcements  they  ex- 
pected hourly  from  Ross  and  the  Fort  of  Duncannon. 

It  was  decided  that  John  Colclough  should  return  to 
Wexford  to  tell  the  garrison  that  no  terms  but  a  com- 
plete surrender  of  the  town  would  be  listened  to;  and 
in  consequence,  as  soon  as  he  received  his  instructions, 
he  set  out  as  the  bearer  of  these  woeful  tidings  for  the 
cruel  Orangemen  who  composed  the  force  of  the  place. 
Edward  Fitzgerald  was  detained  at  the  camp,  not  as  an 
hostage,  but  as  a  worthy  man,  possessing  a  large  pro- 
perty, and  enjoying  great  influence  in  the  country,  and 
to  whom  the  people  looked  up  as  a  fit  person  to  become 


their  leader.  Mr.  Fitzgerald  knew  nothing  of  military 
affairs ;  he  seemed,  therefore,  disinclined  to  assume  any 
command,  but  he  remained  and  identified  himself  with 
the  people  and  their  cause,  to  which  he  remained  faithful 
to  the  last 

Mr.  John  Hay,  of  Newcastle,  joined  the  camp  this 
day,  and  as  he  had  been  some  time  in  the  French  ser- 
vice, it  was  thought  he  would  become  at  once  one  of 
the  principal  commanders;  but,  whether  from  modesty 
or  from  perceiving  the  want  of  warlike  stores,  discipline, 
ammunition,  etc.,  that  existed  in  the  camp,  and  being 
accustomed  to  see  nothing  but  regular  service,  he  could 
not  be  prevailed  on  to  take  any  command  that  day. 
Subsequently  he  fought  bravely  until  he  met  his  un- 
timely end.  He  was  executed  at  Wexford  after  the 
town  was  retaken. 

It  being  decided  that  a  small  permanent  camp  should 
be  kept  up  on  Vinegar  Hill,  the  army  at  length  set  out 
on  its  march  to  attack  Wexford,  amounting  now  to  at 
least  sixteen  thousand  men,  three  thousand  of  whom 
had  fire-arms,  and  amongst  these  some  of  the  best 
marksmen  of  the  country ;  particularly  those  from  the 
barony  of  Shelmalier,  where  the  men  were  trained  from 
their  infancy  to  shoot  wild  fowl  in  the  marshes  during 
winter  as  a  means  of  gaining  their  livelihood,  sending 
loads  of  barnacles  or  sea  birds  to  Dublin  weekly.  An 
army  flanked  by  such  rifle  men  had  nothing  to  fear  from 
the  yeomen  cavalry :  nor  were  there  any  English  regular 
forces  assembled  at  the  time  in  any  part  of  the  country 
that  could  have  dared  to  venture  to  meet  them  in  the 
field.  Thus  the  march  of  this  valiant  little  Irish  army 
to  the  Three  Rock  Mountain,  three  miles  on  the  other 
side  of  Wexford,  was  effected  without  impediment.  A 
camp  was  immediately  formed,  and  outposts  placed  to 
guard  against  surprise,  and  the  wearied  mass  soon  be- 
took themselves  to  rest  for  the  night.  But  early  next 


morning,  the  3Oth  of  May,  they  were  roused  up  by  the 
intelligence  that  an  armed  force,  with  artillery,  was  per- 
ceived at  a  distance  on  the  road  leading  from  Duncannon 
Fort  to  Wexford  to  reinforce  the  garrison  and  King's 
troops  there. 

This  news  afforded  a  fortunate  occasion  to  those 
brave  fellows  who  had  lately  joined,  and  who  longed 
so  much  for  an  opportunity  to  prove  that  they  were  not 
inferior  in  courage  and  intrepidity  to  those  who  had 
gained  the  battles  of  Oulard  Hill  and  Enniscorthy. 
This  advanced  guard  of  the  King's  forces,  sent  forward 
by  General  Fawcett,  who  remained  himself  at  Taghmon, 
was  allowed  to  proceed  on  its  way  until  arrived  on  the 
road  under  the  Three  Rock  Mountain,  when  it  was 
attacked,  in  front  and  rear,  at  once  by  a  force  detached 
from  the  people's  camp,  led  on  by  the  brave  Cloney, 
John  Kelly,  of  Killan,  Robert  Carty,  and  Michael 
Furlong,  of  Templescoley.  The  fight  did  not  last  more 
than  fifteen  minutes ;  the  v/hole  detachment  of  the 
King's  troops  was  either  killed,  wounded,  or  made 
prisoners :  it  consisted  of  about  one  hundred  men  of  the 
Meath  Militia  Artillerymen  and  three  officers  comprised, 
ttith  two  pieces  of  cannon.  The  result  of  this  brilliant 
action  had  the  happiest  effect,  as  it  not  only  caused 
Wexford  to  surrender  forthwith,  and  struck  terror  into 
the  enemies  and  persecutors  of  the  people  everywhere 
throughout  the  country,  but  it  shewed  that  this  same 
people  could  produce  the  greatest  heroes  when  fighting 
for  the  independence  of  their  beloved  country  against 
their  cruel  English  tyrants. 

I  have  in  another  part  mentioned  Thomas  Cloney  as 
fitted  to  have  filled  the  highest  situation;  I  must  now 
speak  of  the  ever-to-be-lamented  John  Kelly,  of  Killan, 
who  was  considered  by  all  those  who  knew  him,  or  who 
saw  him  in  battle,  to  possess  all  the  finest  qualities  of 
the  truest  patriot,  and  the  bravery  and  heroism  of  the 


greatest  general  of  antiquity  ;  this  fine  young  man  would 
have  become  the  Hoche  of  Ireland  had  the  war  con- 
tinued and  succeeded.  He  was  recovering  fast  from  the 
wounds  he  received  at  the  battle  of  Ross,  when  the 
relentless  Orangemen  of  Wexford  had  him  executed 
after  the  town  was  reoccupied  by  the  King's  troops. 

No  doubt  the  result  of  the  victory  gained  under  the 
Three  Rock  Mountain  was  great,  but  how  much  greater 
might  it  have  been,  had  Edward  Fitzgerald,  Edward 
Roache,  and  John  Hay  (all  three  considered  by  the 
people,  from  the  high  station  and  influence  they  had  in 
the  country,  as  destined  to  take  a  special  command), 
instead  of  negotiating  with  the  enemy  and  affording 
them  thereby  time  to  get  away  by  land  and  sea, 
marched  at  once  on  the  town,  with  fifteen  thousand  men 
and  the  two  howitzers  just  taken,  to  intercept  instantly 
all  the  roads  leading  out  of  the  place,  particularly  the 
one  to  the  barony  of  Forth,  to  prevent  the  possibility 
of  a  retreat  on  Duncannon  Fort.  This  measure,  pro- 
perly executed,  the  garrison  would  have  been  obliged 
to  surrender  at  discretion,  and  lay  down  their  arms,  or 
be  slaughtered  to  the  last  man.  The  moment  to  have 
put  this  plan  into  execution  was  when  Colonel  Watson, 
marching  with  the  garrison  to  attack  the  camp  at  the 
Three  Rock  Mountain,  was  killed  at  the  head  of  the 
King's  troops,  and  when  all  his  men  fled  back  to  the 
town  in  the  greatest  disorder  and  precipitation,  and  with 
the  utmost  terror  and  dismay.  Pursued  vigorously  then, 
the  people  would  have  entered  with  them,  pell-mell, 
without  the  least  hindrance.  Besides,  at  the  same  time, 
thousands  were  assembled  at  the  country  side  of  the 
wooden  bridge  ready  to  co-operate  with  the  Irish  army 
coming  from  the  camp  at  the  Three  Rock  Mountain  to 
attack  the  town.  This  plan  not  being  thought  of  in 
time,  or,  at  least,  not  put  into  execution,  caused  the 
Irish  chiefs  to  become  the  dupes  of  the  most  infernal 


deception  or  ruse  de  guerre  ever  practised  in  such  cases. 
Two  respectable  and  liberal  Protestant  gentlemen — 
Counsellor  Richards  and  his  brother — were  deputed 
from  the  garrison  to  proceed  to  the  people's  camp  to 
treat  for  the  surrender  and  evacuation  of  the  town  by 
the  King's  troops;  they  brought  a  letter  from  Mr. 
Bagenal  Harvey.  This  gentleman  had  been  a  prisoner 
several  days  in  Wexford  Jail,  and  was  now  liberated 
for  the  purpose  of  being  made  an  instrument  by  his 
cruel  enemies  to  obtain  time  for  them  to  get  away, 
with  their  arms  and  ammunition,  all  of  which  should 
have  been  surrendered  had  the  people's  decision  been 
executed.  The  Messrs.  Richards  were  well  received  at 
the  camp,  and  it  was  immediately  agreed  on  that 
one  of  them  should  remain  as  an  hostage  whilst 
the  other  returned,  accompanied  by  Mr.  Edward 
Fitzgerald,  to  see  the  terms  of  the  capitulation 
fulfilled.  On  their  departure,  the  camp  began  to 
move  forward  from  the  Three  Rock  Mountain, 
with  ridiculous  precaution,  to  the  Windmill  hills, 
near  the  town,  to  be  ready  to  receive  the  arms, 
ammunition,  and  other  military  stores  to  be  surrendered 
according  to  the  articles  of  the  capitulation.  But  by  the 
time  Edward  Fitzgerald  and  Counsellor  Richards  ar- 
rived in  Wexford,  the  King's  troops  had  fled,  carrying 
off  with  them,  or  destroying,  all  the  arms  and  ammuni- 
tion the  town  contained,  and  of  which  the  people  stood 
in  such  need 

Their  exasperation  and  indignation  became  so  great 
at  the  idea  of  being  outwitted  by  the  cowardly  garrison, 
that  it  required  the  greatest  exertion  on  the  part  of  the 
chiefs  to  prevent  the  town  from  being  burned  to  the 
ground,  and  this  danger  was  not  so  much  apprehended 
from  the  over  cautious  army  of  the  Three  Rock  Moun- 
tain as  from  the  thousands  of  brave  fellows  who  were 
•coming  from  the  other  side:  and  had  these  men  not 


been  delayed  repairing  the  bridge,  where  a  part  of  it 
had  been  burned  at  the  other  end  (Ferrybank),  they 
would  in  all  probability  have  arrived  in  time  to  intercept 
and  destroy  great  numbers  of  the  troops  that  were 
escaping  in  the  utmost  confusion  and  disorder,  without 
observing  any  kind  of  military  discipline.  It  only  re- 
quired a  few  hundred  resolute  men  to  be  sent  after  them 
to  have  defeated  them  completely  before  they  reached 
the  "  Scar  "  at  Barrystown.  Thus  pursued  they  would 
not  have  had  time  to  quit  the  high  road  to  go  and  kill 
in  cold  blood,  as  they  did,  the  unoffending  and  innocent 
people  through  the  country,  wherever  they  passed. 

Mr.  Edward  Fitzgerald,  in  place  of  having  to  stipu- 
late with  the  King's  forces  for  the  surrender  of  the 
town,  was  prayed  by  a  few  of  the  civil  authorities,  Dr. 
Jacob,  the  Mayor,  at  the  head  of  them,  to  proceed  to  the 
bridge  to  beseech  the  mass  of  people  then  crossing  it 
not  to  set  fire  to  the  town.  He  succeeded  with  the 
greatest  difficulty  in  appeasing  and  preventing  them  for 
a  moment  putting  into  execution  the  vengeance  they 
thought  themselves  so  well  entitled  to  from  the  many 
persecutions  practised  by  the  cruel  magistrates,  who  had 
fled  with  the  King's  troops,  and  who  had  contributed 
so  much  before  and  after  the  Insurrection  to  deluge  the 
country  with  the  blood  of  its  worthiest  citizens. 

Whilst  Mr.  Fitzgerald  was  thus  occupied  in  en- 
deavouring to  pacify  those  brave  fellows  who  were 
pouring  into  the  town  over  the  bridge,  and  shouting 
"  victory  and  vengeance,"  the  army  of  the  Three  Rock 
Mountain  that  had  halted  at  the  Windmill  hills  entered 
the  town  with  more  order,  their  chiefs  at  their  head,  and 
all  exerting  themselves  in  the  most  praiseworthy  manner 
to  prevent  pillage  or  harm  of  any  kind  being  offered  to 
the  inhabitants,  but  most  particularly  for  respect  to  be 
shown  to  the  females  of  every  class  and  party.  They 
succeeded  beyond  their  expectation,  which  was  wonder- 


ful,  from  the  exasperation  and  disappointment  of  the 
people  in  not  getting  the  military  stores  they  were  led 
to  expect  that  the  town  would  have  preserved  for  them. 
Nothing  could  surpass  the  joy  and  enthusiasm  of  the 
patriotic  portion  of  the  townspeople,  to  find  that  their 
cruel  enemies  had  fled,  and  to  see  their  liberators  march- 
ing into  the  town  in  great  triumph.  Almost  every 
house  was  decorated  on  the  occasion  with  green  flags, 
green  boughs,  and  ornaments  of  one  description  or 
another.  All  this,  with  the  doors  thrown  open  every- 
where, and  refreshments  of  all  kinds  most  freely  offered 
and  distributed  by  the  inhabitants,  to  an  army  now 
twenty  thousand  strong,  contributed  in  a  great  measure 
to  keep  order :  besides,  parties  were  immediately  sent  to 
search  all  the  ships  and  vessels  in  the  harbour,  in  which 
a  good  deal  of  ammunition  and  arms  was  found,  with 
those  Orangemen  who  intended  to  escape  by  sea,  and 
who  were  brought  on  shore  as  prisoners. 

Considering  all  that  had  happened  during  the  day, 
Wexford  was  remarkably  quiet  on  the  night  of  the 
3Oth  of  May,  but  very  early  next  morning,  the  3ist,  all 
began  again  to  be  in  commotion ;  the  army  became 
anxious  to  obtain  new  victories ;  orders  were  given  to 
march  out  and  encamp  on  the  Windmill  hills,  and  to 
have  it  divided  into  two  separate  bodies  or  divisions,  one 
of  which,  consisting  of  those  who  inhabited  the  Wex- 
ford side  of  the  Slaney,  marched  to  Taghmon.  Having 
learned  that  General  Fawcett  had  fled  from  that  town 
precipitately,  back  to  Duncannon  Fort,  with  the  I3th 
Regiment,  or  Meath  Militia,  as  soon  as  he  had  heard 
of  the  defeat  of  his  advanced  guard  at  Three  Rock 
Mountain,  there  was  nothing  now  to  prevent  this  divi- 
sion of  the  Irish  army  marching  instantly  to  attack  and 
take  the  town  of  Ross.  But  unfortunately  a  want  of 
bold  determination  prevailed  amongst  the  leaders.  At 
length  they  named  Bagenal  Harvey  to  be  their  com- 


mander-in-chief.  This  gentleman,  though  liberal  and 
patriotic,  and  enjoying  the  most  unlimited  confidence 
for  his  integrity  and  zeal  in  the  sacred  cause  of  the 
people,  did  not  possess  the  military  talents  or  qualities 
necessary  for  such  an  important  rank  and  situation : 
besides,  his  very  delicate  constitution  rendered  him  quite 
unfit  for  such  a  command. 

Mr.  Harvey,  being  a  Protestant  of  the  highest  re- 
spectability, and  chosen  by  his  Catholic  countrymen  to 
become  their  commander-in-chief,  should  have  been  a 
sufficient  proof  that  it  was  not  a  religious  war  that  the 
Irish  were  engaged  in  against  their  cruel  enemies,  the 
English,  but  a  war  to  obtain  equal  and  adequate  rights 
for  people  of  every  religious  persuasion,  and  for  the 
complete  independence  of  their  country. 

The  commander-in-chief  now  made  choice  of  a  num- 
ber of  splendid  young  men  to  compose  his  staff,  all  of 
whom  would,  with  a  little  experience,  have  become 
distinguished  field  officers.  Amongst  these  was  John 
Devereux,  of  Taghmon,  afterwards  General  Devereux 
in  the  South  American  Service,  who  contributed  so  much 
to  the  independence  of  that  country  with  Bolivar  after 
he  had  been  forced  to  expatriate  himself  to  North 
America  to  escape  the  persecutions  of  the  Orange  magis- 
trates of  Wexford.  But  his  worthy  father  did  not  escape 
the  wrath  of  those  vile  tyrants ;  they  had  him  arrested 
and  lodged  in  Wexford  Jail,  where  he  died  soon  after 
before  they  had  time  to  have  him  executed. 

Besides  the  means  of  composing  his  staff  with  young 
men  of  exemplary  courage  and  talent,  the  general-in- 
chief,  Harvey,  found  many  other  resources  in  the  town 
of  Wexford  for  his  army ;  such  as  gunsmiths  for  repair- 
ing the  fire-arms,  and  blacksmiths  for  forging  pikes ;  a 
press  for  printing  proclamations,  which  should  have  been 
issued  and  distributed  in  thousands,  prohibiting  pillage 
or  plunder  of  any  kind,  but  particularly  against  taking 


the  life  of  the  greatest  criminal  before  he  was  tried ;  and 
for  this  purpose  a  special  commission  or  court-martial 
should  have  been  formed  and  attached  to  each  army  ta 
try  all  offenders,  and  have  impartial  justice  rendered  to 
all  parties.  No  doubt  it  would  have  been  a  difficult  task 
in  the  first  instance  to  prevent  the  thousands  who  had 
had  their  nearest  relations  killed  in  cold  blood  previous 
to  the  rising  from  taking  revenge  when  any  of  those 
monsters  fell  into  their  hands ;  but,  unfortunately,  the 
innocent  sometimes  become  the  victims  of  this  kind  of 
retaliation,  and  it  might  have  proved  better  policy  to  do 
the  reverse  of  what  the  enemy  was  practising  every 
day;  at  all  events,  cold-blooded  murders  could  never 
be  serviceable  to  any  cause. 

The  baronies  of  Forth  and  Bargy  afforded  great 
resources  to  General  Harvey  as  to  provisioning  his 
camp  with  eatables  of  different  kinds;  the  inhabitants, 
were  very  industrious,  and,  of  course,  well  supplied  in 
general  with  provisions,  but  they  were  less  alive  to  the 
degraded  and  enslaved  state  they  were  kept  in  than  the 
people  of  the  other  baronies  of  the  county,  and  had  not 
numbers  of  them  been  shot  by  the  King's  troops  retreat- 
ing from  Wexford  to  Duncannon  Fort,  very  few  of 
them  would  have  joined  the  camp.  But  the  news  of  the 
murder  of  so  many  innocent  and  defenceless  people 
roused  them  from  their  apathy,  and  filled  them  with  in- 
dignation, and,  in  consequence,  some  thousands  of  them 
assembled  and  waited  on  Cornelius  Grogan,  of  Johns- 
town, and  asked  him  to  become  their  chief.  This  aged 
gentleman,  though  ill  with  the  gout  at  the  time,  ac- 
cepted ;  he  mounted  his  horse  immediately  and  went  at 
their  head  to  Wexford,  with  green  banners  flying ;  it 
caused  the  greatest  joy  to  the  patriots  of  the  town  to 
see  a  Protestant  of  his  high  station  and  large  fortune 
in  the  country  join  their  standard.  But  a  cruel  destiny 
awaited  this  worthy  man ;  he  fell  a  victim  to  the  rage 


of  revenge,  being  one  of  the  first  executed  when  the 
town  was  retaken  by  the  English.  His  brother  Thomas 
Knox  Grogan,  captain  of  the  Castletown  yeoman 
cavalry,  was  killed  at  the  battle  of  Arklow,  fighting  in 
the  English  ranks  against  the  people.  The  third  brother 
John  Grogan,  commander  of  the  Heathfield  cavalry,  re- 
treated with  the  King's  troops  to  Duncannon  Fort,  and 
yet,  notwithstanding  the  active  part  he  took  at  the  head 
of  his  corps,  and  his  great  devotion  and  loyalty  to  every- 
thing English,  he  had  not  influence  enough  to  save  his 
unfortunate  brother  Cornelius  from  being  hanged.  Such 
was  the  gratitude  and  the  way  the  best  services  were 
requited  by  the  enemies  of  Ireland  at  that  awful 
epoch ! 

Captain  Keogh,  a  Protestant  gentleman  well  known, 
was  named  to  command  the  town  of  Wexford,  which 
was  divided  into  wards,  and  a  commission  of  the  most 
respectable  inhabitants  elected  to  act  as  the  police,  pro- 
curing provisions,  and  seeing  them  distributed  equally 
to  all  without  distinction.  Civil  guards  were  organized ; 
the  men  chose  their  officers ;  the  guard  did  duty  night 
and  day,  and  rendered  great  service  in  keeping  order. 


THIS  was  the  favourable  state  of  things  at  Wexford 
when  General  Harvey  and  his  army  corps  marched  from 
the  Windmill  hills  to  Taghmon,  where  he  encamped  for 
the  night  of  the  3 1st  May,  1798,  whilst  the  other  body 
or  division,  consisting  principally  of  those  from  the  north 
side  of  the  Slaney,  who  had  gained  the  battles  of 
Oulard  Hill  and  Enniscorthy,  marched  back  from  the 
"Windmill  hills,  in  the  direction  of  Gorey,  to  Vinegar 
Hill  and  to  the  hill  of  Carrigrew.  This  brave  little 
army,  though  having  many  distinguished  leaders,  had 
not  as  yet  chosen  a  general-in-chief.  Father  John 
Murphy  always  preserved  his  influence  with  all  those 
who  knew  him. 

The  Rev.  Philip  Roche  had  joined  by  this  time :  he 
was  a  clergyman  of  the  most  elegant  manners,  a  fine 
person,  tall  and  handsome,  humane  and  brave  beyond 
description.  He  had  been  attached  at  one  time  to  the 
parish  chapel  of  Gorey,  and  thereby  knew  of  the  many 
inhuman  deeds  committed  by  the  Orange  magistrates 
in  that  neighbourhood  on  the  defenceless,  unarmed 
people,  so  he  did  not  hesitate  to  take  an  active  part  in 
the  struggle. 

The  Rev.  Father  Kearns  having  also  joined,  and 
immediately  availing  himself  of  his  influence  as  a  clergy- 
man, proposed  to  march  and  attack  Newtownbarry  or 
Bunclody.  He  was  instantly  followed  by  about  two 
thousand  five  hundred  brave,  determined  men,  badly 
armed  as  to  fire-arms,  but  with  pikes  and  other  weapons, 
father  Kearns  was  one  of  the  strongest  and  most 
powerful  men  that  could  be  met  with  in  any  country, 
and  his  bravery  equalled  his  strength.  Had  he  been 
bred  to  the  military  profession  in  a  country  like  France, 


where  courage  and  merit  were  sure  of  being  recom- 
pensed, he  would  have  been  a  Kleber,  and  soon  have 
been  raised  to  the  first  rank  in  any  army  he  made 
part  of. 

Qn  the  first  of  June  Kearns  and  his  small  division 
marched  in  good  order,  following  up  the  River  Slaney, 
and  driving  the  yeomen  cavalry  before  them  whenever 
they  came  in  sight,  or  dared  to  make  any  stand  He 
halted  and  drew  up  his  men  on  a  small  hill  near  the 
town  of  Newtownbarry,  to  give  time  to  the  rear  guard 
and  the  stragglers  to  arrive  and  join  the  main  body. 
During  this  halt  I  approached  him  for  the  first  time ; 
he  was  on  horseback,  and  well  mounted,  and  indeed  it 
required  a  good  horse  to  carry  him.  I  took  the  liberty 
of  observing  to  him  how  desirable  it  would  be  to  have 
such  a  military  position  on  the  other  side  of  the  town 
as  the  one  on  which  we  were  standing  as  soon  as  we 
should  be  masters  of  the  place.  He  cut  me  short.  I 
had  still  more  to  say ;  he  replied,  holding  up  his  whip, 
"Tell  all  those  you  have  any  control  over  to  fear 
nothing,  as  long  as  they  see  this  whip  in  my  hand."  It 
was  the  only  weapon  he  possessed.  I  need  not  add 
that  this  abrupt  answer  caused  a  smile  on  the  counten- 
ances of  all  those  who  were  listening  to  our  very  short 
conversation,  and  no  doubt  augmented  their  belief  that 
this  powerful  man  was  destined  to  lead  them  to  victory. 
To  speak  to  him  of  a  rallying  point  in  case  of  being 
forced  to  retreat  would  be  worse  than  treason ;  his  ships 
were  always  burned. 

When  Father  Kearns  thought  his  little  army  suffi- 
ciently rested,  he  took  off  his  hat,  being  still  on  horse- 
back, and  beseeched  all  to  join  him  in  a  short  prayer ; 
all  knelt  down ;  he  then  gave  the  signal  for  the  attack, 
which  was  executed  with  such  promptitude  and  vigour 
that  Colonel  Lestrange  who  commanded  the  garrison, 
with  five  hundred  regular  infantry,  besides  the  yeomen 


cavalry,  was  overwhelmed  and  forced  to  retreat  precipi- 
tately and  in  the  greatest  disorder.  About  twenty  of  the 
garrison  having  been  cut  off,  not  having  time  to  escape, 
took  possession  of  an  isolated  house  belonging  to  a  Mr. 
Maxwell  and  from  the  windows  of  it  fired  out  and^dlled 
several  people  in  the  streets.  It  was  endeavouring  to 
dislodge  these  men  that  Father  Kearns  lost  time,  and 
was  prevented  pursuing  the  King's  troops  that  were 
flying  in  such  disorder,  when  they  were  met  by  a  rein- 
forcement of  the  King's  County  Militia  that  was  coming 
to  their  assistance,  rallied  them,  and  of  course  gave  them 
new  courage.  They  returned  to  the  town,  and  did  not 
meet  the  little  Irish  army  in  a  formidable  position  to 
resist  them,  it  being  dispersed  through  the  leading 
streets.  These  were  the  real  motives  which  obliged 
Kearns  and  his  men  to  retire  and  evacuate  Bunclody,  or 
Newtownbarry,  and  not  drunkenness  and  pillage,  as  the 
eternal  enemies  of  every  thing  Irish  had  it  propagated, 
in  order  to  bring  disgrace  on  our  cause.  For  my  own 
part,  I  must  declare  that  I  did  not  see  a  single  man 
intoxicated  during  the  time  we  occupied  the  town. 
Besides,  the  strongest  liquors  could  scarcely  have  caused 
drunkenness  in  the  short  space  of  time  the  place  was 
occupied.  For,  in  less  than  an  hour,  Kearns  and  his 
men  were  again  outside  the  town,  and,  being  separated 
into  different  detachments,  they  had  no  doubt  to  fight 
their  way  through  gardens  and  lanes  for  some  time,  but, 
not  being  followed  by  the  infantry,  they  had  little  to 
apprehend  from  the  cavalry,  for  twenty  pikemen  that 
kept  together,  with  two  or  three  with  fire-arms,  was  quite 
sufficient  to  keep  the  best  of  those  corps  at  a  respectful 
distance.  The  number  of  killed  and  wounded  was  nearly 
equal  on  each  side. 

Thus  Father  Kearns'  brave  little  army,  so  formidable 
in  the  morning,  and  from  which  so  much  was  expected, 
had  to  retire  without  being  able  to  accomplish  the  great 



object  for  which  the  -pedition  was  undertaken,  namely, 
the  opening  of  the  communication  up  the  Slaney  into 
the  counties  of  Carlow  and  Wicklow,  and  thereby  afford- 
ing an  opportunity  to  the  persecuted  inhabitants  of  these 
counties  that  had  been  dispersed  and  hunted  daily,  like 
wild  beasts,  to  rally  again  and  assemble  in  such  force 
that  their  enemies  would  have  been  forced  to  fly  before 
them  like  chaff.  Besides,  the  infamous  towns  of  Carnew 
and  Dunlaven,  in  the  county  of  Wicklow,  where  so  many 
cold-blooded  murders  were  perpetrated  previous  to  the 
rising,  would  have  been  chastised,  as  they  merited.  The 
town  of  Tullow  would  have  been  taken  at  once  and 
Carlow  would  have  been  afforded  another  chance  of 
revenging  its  disasters  of  the  25th  of  May  ;  and  the 
cruel  death  and  execution  of  the  excellent  and  humane 
Sir  Edward  Crosby,  whom  every  one  lamented,  with  the 
two  or  three  hundred  victims  of  military  executions 
which  took  place  in  Carlow,  would  have  been  sufficient  to 
rouse  the  whole  country  again. 

If  Newtownbarry  had  been  retained,  as  could  so 
easily  have  been  accomplished,  had  Colonel  Lestrange 
been  vigorously  pursued  for  a  mile  outside  the  town,  he 
would  have  been  forced  to  quit  the  great  road,  disperse, 
and  escape  through  the  fields  with  the  troops  he  com- 
manded, and  the  reinforcements  coming  to  his  assistance 
would  have  followed  the  example.  For  such  was  the 
terror  and  panic  spread  by  the  yeomen  cavalry  in  their 
flight,  that  nothing  could  rally  them  until  they  got  to 
Clonegal;  and  as  to  the  few  Orangemen  who  took 
refuge  in  the  town,  it  would  have  been  better  to  give 
them  an  opportunity  to  escape,  which  they  would  have 
had  as  soon  as  night  came  on,  or  have  been  burned  in 
the  houses,  if  they  persevered  in  firing  from  them. 

Kearns'  men,  being  obliged  to  abandon  Newtown- 
barry by  different  ways,  still  kept  together  in  small 
detachments,  any  of  which  was  quite  sufficient  to  make 


head  against  the  yeomen  cavalry.     Not  knowing  any 
rallying  point  at  the  time  but  Vinegar  Hill,  they  all 
directed  their  course  that  way,  marching  at  their  ease, 
stopping  for  the  night  whenever  it  suited  them,  regaining 
the    camp    in    two    or    three    days    afterwards,  as  it 
answered  their  purpose ;    meeting  no  enemy  they  had 
plenty  of  time  to  recover  from  their  great  fatigue  and 
prepare  for  new  actions.    For  my  own  part,  I  longed  to 
rejoin  the  main  body  as  soon  as  possible,  and  not  being 
certain  where  to  find  it,  I  proposed  to  those  who  kept 
by  me  to  march  at  once  to  Vinegar  Hill,  where,  no 
doubt,  we  should  get  all  the  information  we  required. 
We  arrived  there  on  the  2nd  of  June,  and  learned  that 
all  those  who  marched  under  the  orders  of  Father  John 
Murphy,  Father  Roche,  and  the  other  chiefs  were  then 
encamped  on  Carrigrew  Hill.     We  immediately  set  out, 
and  arrived  at  this  camp  on  the  3rd  of  June,  where  I 
met  hundreds  whom  I  had  not  seen  for  months  before, 
and  who  knew  me  from  my  childhood.     The  greater 
part  of  these  brave  fellows  were  just  escaping  from  their 
hiding  places,  and  had  run  the  greatest  danger  coming 
to  join  the  camp,  having  to  pass  through  those  parts  of 
the  country  which  were  occupied  by  the  enemy,  and 
where  all  kinds  of  outrages  were  perpetrated  by  these 
cruel   monsters — particularly   a   cavalry   regiment,   the 
Ancient  Britons,  accompanied  by  the  Orangemen  and 
Hunter  Gowan,  with  his  "  black  mob."    To  the  honour 
of  the  people,  the  females  of  this  murderer's  family 
were  respected  by  them.     Hunter  Gowan  had  fourteen 
daughters,  all  grown  up ;  they  were  escaping  to  Arklow 
on  the  28th  of  May  when  they  were  met  by  a  party  of 
the  people  commanded  by  Murt  Murnagh,  of  Limerick. 
These   young  women,   knowing  well   the   number  of 
innocent  persons  whom  their  father  had  shot  in  cold 
blood,  expected,  no  doubt,  every  kind  of  ill-treatment; 
but  Murnagh  and  his  followers  assured  them  they  had 


nothing  to  fear,  and,  after  searching  the  jaunting  cars 
for  arms  and  ammunition,  Murnagh  and  his  men 
escorted  them  on  the  great  road  leading  to  Arklow  for 
some  distance,  until  they  were  out  of  the  way  of  meeting 
other  parties  of  the  same  description :  he  did  this  at  the 
risk  of  meeting  the  enemy  in  superior  force.  Had  he 
fallen  into  their  hands  this  humane  and  generous  con- 
duct towards  these  young  women  would  have  been 
considered  sufficient  proof  that  he  was  a  chief;  conse- 
quently, he  would  have  been  tried  and  executed  imme- 
diately as  such.  This  was  the  sort  of  Turkish  justice 
practised  by  the  English  throughout  this  war.  Yet  no 
provocation  on  their  part  could  make  the  people  debase 
themselves  to  retaliate  on  helpless  females.  They  were 
everywhere  respected,  as  they  should  be ;  not  a  single 
instance  to  the  contrary  could  be  brought  forward  when 
the  war  terminated ;  nor  was  there  a  Protestant  church 
injured,  with  the  exception  of  one  at  Old  Ross,  whilst 
every  place  of  worship  belonging  to  the  Catholics  was 

It  was  on  the  3rd  of  June  I  had  the  happiness  of 
meeting  my  poor  step-brother,  Hugh  Kennedy,  for  the 
first  time  since  I  was  forced  to  leave  home  in  the 
beginning  of  May.  I  found  him  looking  better  than  I 
could  have  expected  after  all  he  had  suffered.  He  was 
busy  forming  platoons  and  sections.  The  men  seemed 
to  obey  him  cheerfully;  he  being  a  Dublin  man  was 
considered  capable  of  giving  them  instruction,  and  of 
showing  them  how  to  form  a  line,  how  to  break  from 
the  line  into  column  by  platoons  and  sections.  I  saw 
with  pleasure  the  great  desire  every  one  at  this  camp 
evinced  to  see  a  military  organization  take  place  by 
parishes  or  towns — that  the  men  of  each  assembled 
should  freely  choose  their  own  officers  and  promise  to 
obey  them :  but  unfortunately  there  never  was  sufficient 
time  to  accomplish  a  work  so  necessary  for  the  success 


of  our  cause.  Being  always  on  the  march,  or  skirmishing 
with  the  enemy,  it  was  nearly  impossible.  Yet  one 
thing  might  have  been  done  whch  was  neglected ;  that 
was  to  oblige  the  chiefs  and  officers  that  were  known 
in  the  United  system  to  wear  on  their  arms  a  distinctive 
mark  according  to  the  rank  they  held.  This  would 
have  prevented  many  disagreeable  occurrences  that  took 
place  during  our  night  marches.  Another  measure  was 
also  in  contemplation  which  would  have  had  the  best 
effect.  This  was  that  as  soon  as  the  men  had  chosen 
their  officers,  and  had  consented  to  obey  their  orders, 
that  they  should  consent  also  to  have  their  coats  cut  in 
a  kind  of  military  form,  with  the  skirts  turned  up  behind, 
no  matter  what  was  the  colour.  This  kind  of  uniform 
(until  a  better  could  have  been  provided)  would  have 
prevented  them  in  a  great  measure  from  quitting  the 
camp  without  permission  from  their  officers.  They  would 
certainly  have  felt  ashamed  to  have  been  seen  scamper- 
ing through  the  country  whilst  others  were  obliged  to  do 
severe  duty  in  their  place ;  and  to  be  seen  with  their 
coats  of  a  military  shape  in  a  village  whilst  fighting  was 
going  on  at  some  distance  would  dishonour  them  for 
ever ;  and  if  they  attempted  to  change  this  coat  or  Irish 
uniform  for  one  not  cut  in  this  fashion  it  would  be 
considered  not  only  as  desertion,  but  high  treason,  and 
thereby  amenable  to  the  severest  punishment.  But 
instead  of  those  necessary  regulations,  everyone  wore 
what  he  fancied  made  him  look  to  advantage  and 
appear  warlike ;  green,  of  course,  was  the  favourite 
colour,  and,  wherever  it  could  be  had,  put  on  in  profu- 
sion. As  it  could  not  be  got  in  sufficient  quantities  to 
furnish  all,  it  would  have  been  advisable  to  have  adopted 
the  simple  green  cockade,  and  to  require  all  to  put  it  in 
their  hats  and  nothing  else.  The  officers  wearing  the 
same  cockade,  and  stripes  on  their  arms  to  distinguish 
the  different  ranks,  would  have  sufficed  until  such  time 


as  uniforms  and  epaulets  could  have  been  procured 
Drums  or  some  musical  instrument  were  wanted  to  call 
the  men  to  assemble.  This  deficiency  was  remedied  by 
the  standard-bearers  of  each  corps,  accompanied  by  a 
small  guard,  marching  through  the  camp  and  crying  to 
the  men  of  such  a  corps  to  join  their  colours  forthwith ; 
and  as  the  name  of  the  baronies,  towns,  or  parishes  that 
the  corps  belonged  to  was  always  mentioned,  it  probably 
answered  the  purpose  better  than  the  sound  of  a  drum 
to  the  ears  of  the  country  people,  who  as  yet  not  having 
had  anything  to  do  with  the  drill  sergeant  would  be 
quite  at  a  loss  to  know  what  the  drumming  meant :  but 
the  sweet  cry  of  the  name  of  their  native  barony  or 
village  roused  them  up  at  once.  How  often  have  I 
admired  the  alertness  of  these  brave  fellows  at  the  cry 
of  the  standard-bearer,  "  Shelmalier  men,  come  to  your 
colours,"  "Men  of  Monaseed  corps,  join  your  colours 
immediately;  we  are  going  to  march,  etc."  This  last 
mentioned  town  contained  very  few  houses,  but  the 
manor  of  Monaseed  was  considerable  enough,  and  all  the 
inhabitants  took  a  most  active  part  in  this  war  and 
furnished  many  who  distinguished  themselves  in  every 
battle  or  skirmish  to  the  end ;  and  all  being  United 
Irishmen,  they  followed  the  chiefs  which  they  themselves 
had  named  with  an  entire  confidence,  and  never  had 
reason  to  regret  the  choice  they  had  made.  The  stand- 
ard bearer  of  the  Monaseed  corps,  Pat  Murray,  of  Crane, 
a  determined  man,  rendered  the  greatest  service  by 
being  always  at  his  post  ready  to  call  the  men  to  arms 
when  required.  He  was  quite  proud  of  his  splendid 
colour,  and  with  reason,  for  it  was  one  of  the  hand- 
somest of  the  camp,  being  adorned  with  harps  and  green 
emblems,  put  on  by  handsome  young  ladies  who  sym- 
pathised in  our  sacred  cause.  Murray  had  the  honour  of 
taking  this  standard  himself  the  first  night  of  the  rising, 
at  Earl  Mountnorris's  house,  Camolin  Park,  after  Bookey 


and  his  cavalry  were  defeated :  it  belonged  to  one  of  the 
Volunteer  corps  of  1782,  and  kept  no  doubt  by  the  Earl 
as  a  trophy  of  the  scanty  Parliamentary  independence 
that  was  torn  from  the  English  at  that  epoch  for  poor 
Ireland,  and  which  the  great  Lord  Charlemont  and  the 
great  orator  Flood  deemed  quite  sufficient  at  the  time ; 
for  the  enslaved  Roman  Catholics,  according  to  those 
bigots,  were  not  entitled  to  be  emancipated,  nor  to 
participate  with  their  Protestant  fellow-countrymen  in 
the  new  acquired  liberties.  It  is  a  well-known  fact  that 
not  one  Roman  Catholic  was  admitted  in  to  the  Volun- 
teer corps  of  the  county  of  Wexford  in  1782.  How 
different  were  the  enlightened  views  taken  a  few  years 
later  by  the  ever  to  be  lamented  Lord  Edward  Fitz- 
gerald, Arthur  O'Connor,  Emmet,  and  the  other  great 
patriots,  who  sacrificed  everything  that  was  dear  to 
them  to  obtain  equal  and  adequate  representation  for 
Irishmen  of  every  religious  persuasion.  These  great 
men  knew  too  well  that  no  justice  could  be  obtained  for 
Ireland  but  by  force  of  arms.  Unfortunately  we  were 
deprived  of  their  aid  and  counsel ;  the  greater  number 
of  them  being  in  prison,  or  fled  to  foreign  countries 
before  the  rising  took  place. 

The  brave  men  who  belonged  to  the  different  yeomen 
corps  who  had  either  resigned,  or  been  dismissed  as  sus- 
pected of  being  United  Irishmen,  were  now  at  the  camp 
of  Carrigrew,  rendering  the  greatest  services,  both  as 
chiefs  and  instructors ;  particularly  Grogan's  corps,  of 
Castletown ;  Beaumont's,  of  Hyde  Park,  and  White's,  of 
Ballyellis.  The  latter  being  an  infantry  corps,  and  all 
the  men  well  drilled,  all  of  them  were  acting  as  instruc- 
tors and  teaching  the  country  people  how  to  load  and 
prime  their  firelocks  with  safety:  whilst  those  who  had 
served  in  the  cavalry,  being  excellent  horsemen,  were 
looked  up  to  as  experienced  military  men,  and  conse- 
quently they  for  the  most  part  acted  as  chiefs  and 


leaders,  and  were  obeyed  and  followed  by  the  innocent 
country  people  as  such,  without  hesitation,  which  had 
the  happiest  effect  during  our  short  campaign. 


The  halt  during  the  2nd  and  3rd  of  June  at  the  camp 
of  Carrigrew  Hill  was  considered  necessary  to  afford 
time  to  those  who  had  gone  to  enquire  about  their 
families  on  their  way  back  from  Wexford  to  rejoin  the 
camp.  These  two  days  were  well  spent  in  preparing  for 
new  combats,  and  in  acquiring  accurate  information  as 
to  the  strength  of  the  enemy,  and  the  respective  posi- 
tions and  towns  where  they  were  concentrated  This 
information  was  soon  obtained  from  the  poor  people 
who  had  to  fly  and  escape  from  their  homes  before  the 
King's  troops  that  were  marching  on  and  devastating 
everything  as  they  passed.  Early  on  the  morning  of 
the  4th  of  June  it  was  known  that  four  divisions,  each 
with  artillery,  and  accompanied  by  several  corps  of 
yeomen  cavalry,  were  marching  to  attack  our  camp  at 
Carrigrew ;  one  division  from  Carnew,  one  from  New- 
townbarry,  and  two  other  divisions  were  coming  on  two 
different  roads  from  Gorey.  General  Loftus  commanded 
the  centre  division ;  the  division  on  his  left  was  com- 
manded by  Colonel  Walpole,  and  all  these  divisions  were 
to  arrive  and  attack  the  hill  at  the  same  moment. 

Our  little  Irish  army,  consisting  now  of  about  ten  or 
twelve  thousand  men,  with  a  scanty  supply  of  powder 
and  ball  for  our  fire-arms,  and  without  either  cavalry  or 
artillery,  with  the  exception  of  a  few  gentlemen  farmers 
who  were  still  tolerably  well  mounted,  as  all  their  horses 
had  not  been  taken  by  the  Orangemen,  had  to  prepare 
for  battle  and  to  make  head  against  all  those  regular 
forces  that  were  on  march  to  annihilate  us  and  drive  us 
into  the  sea.  It  was  at  once  decided  by  all  the  chiefs 


assembled,  Father  John  Murphy  and  others,  to  march 
and  attack  the  division  of  the  King's  troops  coming-  from 
Gorey,  to  take  the  town  if  possible,  and  release  the 
second  batch  of  prisoners  confined  there  before  the  cruel 
magistrates  could  have  time  to  have  them  executed. 

About  nine  o'clock  in  the  morning  of  the  4th  of  June 
our  army  was  drawn  up  in  line  in  Mr.  Donovan's  domain 
near  Carrigrew  Hill,  and  I  must  say  in  a  more  military 
order  than  usual.  The  line  being  now  broken  into 
column,  and  an  advanced  guard  of  two  or  three  hundred 
men  formed,  some  of  whom  were  mounted,  orders  were 
given  to  march  on  the  road  to  Gorey;  the  advanced 
guard,  flanked  by  some  good  sharpshooters,  set  out  in 
good  order,  and  preceded  the  column  at  the  distance  of 
a  mile :  I  made  part  of  this  advanced  guard,  and  almost 
all  my  friends  and  relations  that  I  met  at  the  camp 
made  part  of  it  also.  We  marched  in  good  order  until 
we  arrived  near  Tubberneering,  where  the  road  leading 
to  Gorey  turned  a  little  to  the  left  and  formed  a  kind 
of  elbow.  At  this  turn  or  point  of  the  road  we  perceived 
the  English  army  drawn  up  in  line  of  battle,  their  artil- 
lery all  placed  ready  to  fire.  Instantly  one  of  our 
mounted  men  was  sent  back  to  apprize  the  head  of  our 
column  of  this  circumstance ;  but  before  he  had  time  to 
go  far  a  discharge  of  the  enemy's  artillery  and  musketry 
sufficiently  showed  where  they  were  in  a  position  to 
receive  us.  We  had  a  great  number  killed  and  wounded 
by  this  volley ;  still  we  kept  our  ground  and  advanced 
through  a  large  field  to  take  advantage  of  a  ditch  (a 
hedge)  that  lay  between  us  and  the  enemy  at  our  left 
flank,  and  which  brought  us  within  half  musket  shot  of 
them.  But  this  manoeuvre  cost  us  dear.  Whilst  crossing 
this  field  our  men  were  literally  mowed  down.  My  first 
cousin,  Pat  Bruslaun,  had  a  part  of  his  thigh  cut  away 
with  the  grape  shot,  and  on  my  other  sid?  I  saw  several 
I  knew  fall,  and  amongst  them  Ned  Doyle,  who  had 


been  for  many  years  a  servant  at  my  father's  house :  he 
received  a  musket  ball  through  the  thigh,  but  soon 
recovered  from  his  wound,  and  fought  in  many  battles 
afterwards  with  double  courage.  Once  we  got  to  our 
new  position,  being  so  very  near  the  enemy,  we  had  less 
to  fear,  as  we  could  bring  more  readily  our  pikemen  into 
action ;  our  men  with  the  fire-arms,  having  a  kind  of 
breast-work  in  front,  kept  up  a  well-directed  fire,  every 
shot  of  which  must  have  told. 

Whilst  we  thus  occupied  the  enemy,  our  column  or 
main  body  in  the  rear  formed  their  line  of  battle,  which 
extended  much  to  our  left  flank,  advanced  in  a  kind  of 
half  moon  or  crescent.  Colonel  Walpole,  seeing  this 
manoeuvre,  and  not  finding  General  Loftus's  division  yet 
in  sight,  which  was  marching  on  his  right  flank,  ordered 
a  retreat,  in  order  to  gain  time  for  this  division  to  arrive  ; 
but  the  moment  the  fire  of  his  cannon  had  ceased,  we 
sallied  out,  ran  on  the  artillery,  and  before  the  drivers 
had  time  to  put  to  the  horses,  had  captured  three  pieces 
of  six-pounders,  with  cases  of  ammunition,  and,  in  short, 
everything  appertaining  to  this  artillery.  The  drivers 
and  gunners  were  treated  with  respect,  but,  though 
prisoners,  they  were  obliged  to  show  the  men  under 
whose  guard  they  were  left  how  to  manoeuvre  and 
manage  this  artillery. 

Nothing  could  equal  the  enthusiasm  of  our  line  of 
battle,  not  marching,  but  running  to  the  assistance  of 
the  advanced  guard ;  particularly  so  when  they  saw  the 
fine  park  of  artillery  which  had  fallen  into  our  posses- 
sion. They  very  naturally  thought  the  battle  was  com- 
pletely gained ;  but  they  had  still  to  fight  another  not  far 
distant  from  thence,  as  Colonel  Walpole  halted  and 
rallied  his  troops  at  Clough,  about  a  mile  in  the  rear 
from  Tubberneering,  where  he  was  joined  by  a  hundred 
grenadiers  sent  to  him  by  General  Loftus.  With  this 
reinforcement  he  expected  to  be  able  to  keep  his  position 


until  the  General  himself,  with  his  entire  division,  came 
to  his  assistance. 

It  is  only  justice  to  the  memory  of  this  unfortunate 
man  to  say  that  he  displayed  the  bravery  of  a  soldier, 
and  fought  with  the  greatest  perseverance  in  his  critical 
situation :  but  he  was  soon  overpowered  by  our  men, 
now  so  flushed  with  victory  that  nothng  could  retard 
their  march  onwards.     Walpole  was  nearly  surrounded 
by  our  forces  that  outflanked  him  before  he  fell.     We 
saw  him  lying  dead  on  the  road,  and  he  had  the  appear- 
ance of  having  received  several  gun-shot  wounds.     His 
horse  lay  dead  beside  him,  with  a  number  of  private 
soldiers  dead   and  wounded.     His   troops  now  fled  in 
great  disorder,  and  could  not  be  rallied  ;  they  were  taken 
by  dozens  in  the  fields  and  on  the  road  to  Gorey.    After 
they  had  thrown  away  their  arms,  accoutrements,  and 
everything  to  lighten  them,  they  were  yet  overtaken  by 
our  pikemen.    It  was  curious  to  see  many  of  them  witn 
their  coats  turned  inside  out ;  they  thought  no  doubt  by 
this  sign  of  disaffection  to  the  English  that  when  made 
prisoners  they  would  not  be  injured.    But  this  manoeuvre 
was  unnecessary,  for  I  never  heard  of  a  single  instance 
of   a   prisoner  being  ill-treated  during   those   days   of 
fighting :  our  men  were  in  too  good  humour  tc  be  cruel 
after  the  victory  they  had  obtained. 

Although  the  battle  was  gained  at  Clough  and  the 
King's  troops  in  full  retreat,  still  there  were  two  things 
to  be  feared  and  to  be  guarded  against :  first,  that  the 
cowardly  yeomen,  who  dir*  i  ot  venture  to  take  part  in 
the  action,  would  have  time  to  massacre  the  prisoners 
who  were  confined  in  vast  numbers  in  Gorey,  particu- 
larly those  who  were  placed  in  the  market  house  loft  in 
the  main  street,  through  which  these  ferocious  men  were 
to  pass ;  secondly,  it  was  to  be  feared  that  the  infantry 
escaping  might  have  time  to  get  into  some  isolated 
house  and  there  barricade  themselves  until  reinforce- 


ments  came  to  relieve  them.  To  obviate  these  two 
disasters,  we  decided  to  pursue  them  so  rapidly  as  not 
to  afford  them  time  to  do  either.  From  Clough  to 
Gorey,  a  distance  of  several  miles,  we  never  allowed 
them  to  rally  or  make  the  least  resistance,  and  so 
arrived  in  the  town  of  Gorey  at  their  heels.  They  had 
only  time  to  fire  through  the  windows  where  the  priso- 
ners were  confined.  Fortunately  Esmond  Kyan,  who 
was  one  of  them,  made  them  all  lie  down  quite  flat  on 
the  floor  the  moment  he  perceived  the  enemy  approach- 
ing, and  by  this  precaution  both  he  and  his  fellow- 
prisoners  escaped,  for  none  were  wounded ;  the  balls 
only  broke  the  windows  and  lodged  in  the  walls  on  the 
other  side  of  the  market  house  loft 

I  must  here  say,  without  vanity,  that  I  never  before 
felt  so  proud  or  happier  than  I  did  on  this  occasion  to 
think  that  I  was  among  the  very  first  of  our  forces  who 
contributed  to  save  the  lives  and  put  at  liberty  so  many 
brave  men.  I  only  knew  Esmond  Kyan  by  reputation, 
but  he  was  well  acquainted  with  my  father,  and,  of 
course,  he  knew  all  about  me  and  our  family.  He  was 
the  greatest  acquisition  to  us  at  this  moment,  for  his 
bravery  and  activity  could  not  be  surpassed,  though  he 
had  lost  an  arm  some  years  before.  He  had  a  cork  arm 
and  did  not  appear  to  want  one  at  alL 

Being  well  instructed  in  gunnery,  he  went  instantly 
to  the  hill  or  rising  ground  above  the  town,  where  our 
camp  was  pitched,  and  immediately  took  charge  of  our 
newly-acquired  park  of  artillery :  and  certainly  a  braver 
or  more  experienced  officer  could  not  have  got  the  com- 
mand of  it  He  soon  had  the  honour  to  fire  the  first 
salute  with  this  cannon  when  General  Loftus  appeared 
in  sight,  with  all  his  forces,  to  attack  us,  which  made 
this  over-cautious  General  quickly  disappear.  Seeing 
this  volley  so  well  directed  he  naturally  thought  that  he 
had  approached  too  near  our  camp  and  thereby  ran  the 


risk  of  having  his  artillery  captured  also.  But,  fortu- 
nately for  him,  our  men  were  quite  exhausted,  not  having 
had  time  to  repose  or  take  refreshments  of  any  kind 
during  the  day,  otherwise  he  would  have  been  pursued 
and  probably  forced  to  leave  some  of  his  cannon  behind 
him.  A  few  of  our  men,  who  were  pretty  well  mounted, 
were  sent  after  Loftus's  division  to  see  what  direction 
it  had  taken.  These  men  soon  returned,  and  told  us 
that  the  King's  troops  were  not  marching,  but  running 
away  on  the  road  to  Carnew.  What  a  pity  that  we  had 
no  cavalry  equipped  and  well  armed  to  follow  and  attack 
their  rear  guard,  which,  making  off  in  such  confusion, 
would  have  been  forced  to  surrender,  or  at  least  great 
numbers  of  prisoners  would  have  been  made. 

The  result  of  this  day's  fighting  was  incalculable  for 
our  cause ;  to  see  such  numbers  of  fine  fellows  rushing 
into  the  greatest  danger  for  the  love  of  their  country 
and  its  independence,  as  military  discipline  as  yet  could 
scarcely  be  expected  to  prevail.  I  wish  I  could  recollect 
all  their  names  to  mention  them  in  this  narrative  as  a 
small  tribute  to  the  memory  of  such  true  patriots,  who 
risked  everything  that  was  dear  to  them  on  earth  to  see 
Ireland  as  she  ought  to  be.  Some,  however,  I  can  never 
forget,  such  as  Ned  Fennell,  John  Doyle,  Nick  Murphy, 
Michael  Redmond,  Murt  Murnagh,  Laurence  and  Luke 
Finn,  Isaac  and  Jacob  Byrne,  of  Ballyellis ;  as  to  poor 
Anthony  Perry,  of  Inch,  though  he  had  got  out  of  prison 
a  few  days  before,  he  was  suffering  so  much  from  the 
cruel  treatment  he  had  received  there,  the  application  of 
a  pitch-cap  on  his  head,  which  raised  all  the  skin  of  his 
head  and  a  part  of  his  face,  that  he  was  miserably  low- 
spirited  and  weak,  and  could  not  render  the  service  he 
otherwise  would  have  afforded  us  had  he  been  well  and 
in  his  usual  state  of  health,  for  he  was  a  real  soldier  and 
devoted  to  the  cause. 

The  very  inaccurate  accounts  published  of  the  battle 


of  Tubberneering  or  Clough  by  persons  who  evidently 
were  not  there  oblige  me  to  be  more  particular  in  men- 
tioning all  that  came  within  my  own  knowledge  during 
that  memorable  day,  the  4th  of  June,  1798.  That  day 
the  great  power  of  the  pike  as  a  war  weapon,  if  the  men 
are  properly  disciplined,  was  fully  shown. 

One  version  attributes  Walpole's  defeat  to  his  love  of 
dress,  about  which  it  is  said  he  spent  more  time  than  on 
military  operations  and  tactics.  Yet  we  see  he  lost  no 
time  that  morning  at  his  toilette,  for  he  would  have  been 
exact  to  the  moment  at  the  Hill  of  Carrigrew,  according 
to  the  concerted  plan  he  had  with  General  Loftus,  had 
we  not  met  him  on  the  road ;  as  to  his  not  having  scouts 
out,  the  best  proof  that  he  had  is  that  they  apprised  him 
of  our  march  and  that  he  was  not  surprised,  as  he  had 
his  division  drawn  up  in  line  of  battle  ready  to  receive 
us ;  and  certainly  he  had  plenty  of  time  to  retreat  back 
on  Gorey  before  our  main  body  could  have  come  up  with 
him  had  he  preferred  running  away  to  fighting  or  risking 
a  battle.  Another  says:  "No  vedette  was  out  from 
either  army,  and  that  the  collision  was  sudden,  etc."  Our 
advanced  guard,  on  the  contrary,  marched  with  all  the 
precautions  usually  taken  by  detachments  sent  to  recon- 
noitre, that  is  to  avoid  falling  into  an  ambuscade  on 
either  side,  and  to  push  on  until  the  enemy  was  properly 
discovered.  All  this  we  accomplished,  and,  after  having 
met  the  enemy,  we  might  have  fallen  back  on  our  main 
body  without  fear  or  blame  of  any  kind.  Fortunately  we 
kept  our  position,  and  thereby  contributed  by  our  per- 
severance to  the  victory.  A  third  version  is  that  General 
Loftus,  on  hearing  the  report  of  Walpole's  cannon  and 
other  fire-arms  in  the  engagements,  not  being  able  to  go 
across  the  country,  proceeded  by  the  road  to  the  scene  of 
action,  etc.  Why  could  he  not  have  come  by  the  same 
way  the  grenadiers  came  that  he  sent  to  reinforce 
Walpole  at  Clough,  and  he  would  have  arrived  in  time 


to  participate  in  the  action.  The  divisions  that  were 
marching  from  Newtownbarry  and  Carnew  to  attack  us, 
as  well  as  the  one  commanded  by  General  Loftus  him- 
self, all  heard  the  firing,  and  knew  well  that  the  battle 
was  going  on.  Why  did  they  prefer  keeping  at  so 
respectful  a  distance?  Their  cavalry  were  so  well 
mounted,  and  such  great  fox-hunters,  they  might  have 
crossed  the  open  country  anywhere,  and  have  arrived  in 
our  rear,  and  thereby  have  caused  a  timely  diversion  in 
favour  of  Walpole's  army.  The  truth  is  they  were  panic- 
struck,  and  could  not  readily  be  brought  into  action. 
Besides,  their  speciality  was  to  murder  inoffensive  people 
in  cold  blood,  not  to  meet  the  armed  foe  in  the  field  of 

I  have  already  mentioned  that  by  our  driving  the 
regular  troops  and  the  cruel  yeomanry  through  the 
town  of  Gorey  in  such  a  rapid  manner  we  not  only 
saved  the  lives  of  more  than  a  hundred  prisoners  who 
were  lodged  in  the  town  jail  and  on  the  market  loft, 
but  also  the  lives  of  many  others  who  expected  every 
moment  to  be  torn  from  their  homes  and  families. 
Amongst  these  were  several  of  my  acquaintances,  and  I 
need  not  say  with  what  joy  and  alacrity  they  came  to 
welcome  us  as  their  liberators,  and  to  join  our  standard, 
and  to  share  henceforward  all  our  perils  and  fatigues. 
Denis  Doyle  was  one  of  them  whom  I  knew  from  my 
childhood,  as  both  he  and  his  family  were  our  neigh- 
bours, and  we  were  accustomed  to  meet  every  Sunday 
at  the  Chapel  of  Monaseed.  He  had  been  a  short  time 
settled  in  Gorey  as  a  timber  merchant,  and  he  expected 
every  moment  either  to  be  dragged  to  prison  or  shot. 
I  was  the  first  he  recognized  amongst  our  forces,  and 
he  ran  to  meet  me  with  open  arms:  he  could  scarcely 
contain  his  wonder  and  joy  when  I  told  him  about  the 
battle  we  had  just  gained ;  he  mentioned  to  me  how 
Walpole  had  laid  several  wagers  that  we  could  not  resist 


twenty  minutes  on  the  Hill  of  Carrigrew,  and  Doyle 
himself  told  me  he  thought  it  was  impossible  that  we 
could  make  head  against  the  regular  troops  he  saw 
assembled  and  marched  off  that  morning  to  attack  our 
camp,  with  artillery  of  every  description,  and  accom- 
panied by  a  dozen  corps  of  yeomanry  cavalry. 

Denis  Doyle  from  that  day  became  one  of  our  brave 
and  active  officers :  he  was  young,  handsome,  and 
spirited.  When  the  war  terminated  he  had  the  good 
fortune  to  escape  to  America,  and  set  up  in  the  same 
business  at  New  York  which  he  had  been  following  at 
Gorey.  His  brother,  Davy,  had  been  practising  as  a 
lawyer  in  America  for  two  or  three  years  previous  to 
this,  which,  no  doubt,  induced  him  to  go  and  join  him 
there.  Another  of  his  brothers,  Mr.  James  Doyle,  took 
a  very  active  part  all  through  the  war,  and  after  the 
defeat  at  the  Boyne  he  escaped  and  got  to  Dublin, 
where  he  had  to  hide  for  a  long  time,  and  could  never 
venture  to  return  to  his  home.  He  was  married  to  a 
daughter  of  Mr.  Kavanagh,  of  Ballycarten,  and  a  niece 
of  Father  Frank  Cavanagh.  My  friend  and  school- 
fellow, Johnny  Doyle,  who  distinguished  himself  so 
much,  and  whom  I  have  mentioned  before,  was  first 
cousin  to  these  Doyles.  Mr.  James  D'Arcy,  brother  to 
the  Rev.  Father  D'Arcy  (Roman  Catholic  priest),  who 
had  replaced  at  one  time  Father  O'Leary  as  chaplain 
to  the  Spanish  Ambassador  at  London,  acted  throughout 
the  Insurrection  with  coolness  and  bravery.  He  was 
married  to  another  of  Mr.  Kavanagh's  daughters.  Being 
obliged  to  abandon  his  home  and  property,  he  came  to 
reside  at  Dublin.  His  elder  brother,  Mr.  Matthew 
D'Arcy,  was  forced  to  quit  Gorey,  with  his  young  family, 
to  escape  the  vengeance  of  the  Orangemen ;  he  settled 
at  Islandbridge,  Dublin. 

The  Messrs.  Redmond  (Denis  and  John),  first  cousins 
to  the  D'Arcys,  and  brothers  to  the  brave  Michael  Red- 


mond  who  was  killed  at  the  battle  of  Arklow,  escaped 
to  Dublin,  where  they  had  to  hide  for  some  time ;  they 
could  not  return  to  their  homes. 

Edward  Byrne,  or  "  Little  Ned,"  as  we  used  to  call 
him,  though  he  was  nearly  six  feet  high,  because  he  was 
the  last  of  the  brothers,  was  brother  to  Garret  Byrne,  of 
Ballymanus,  and  to  the  ever-to-be-lamented  William 
Byrne  who  was  executed  at  Wicklow,  and  to  whose 
sister,  Miss  Fanny  Byrne,  Lord  Cornwallis  had  promised 
a  reprieve,  but  this  cold-hearted,  inhuman  man  did  not 
keep  his  promise.  He  allowed  the  unhappy  young  lady 
to  repair  to  Wicklow  to  weep  over  the  cold  remains  of 
her  beloved  brother,  whose  only  crime  was  having  saved 
the  lives  of  many  prisoners  at  the  risk  of  his  own. 
Byrne's  innocence  became  proverbial  ever  after  through 
the  country ;  when  anyone  was  going  to  be  tried  the 
people  would  cry  out :  "  Oh !  surely  that  man  is  as  inno- 
cent as  poor  Billy  Byrne." 

After  the  Insurrection  was  over,  Ned  Byrne  married 
in  Dublin  the  third  and  youngest  daughter  of  Mr. 
Kavanagh,  of  Ballyscarton,  sister  to  the  brave  Thomas 
Kavanagh  who  was  killed  at  the  battle  of  Arklow. 
He  thereby  became  brother-in-law  to  James  Doyle, 
James  D'Arcy,  and  Ned  Kavanagh,  and  allied  to  the 

Nearly  half  a  century  after,  I  was  transcribing  these 
notes  one  day  at  Paris  when  I  received  a  Dublin  news- 
paper, in  which  I  saw  an  account  of  a  great  entertain- 
ment given  at  the  Mansion  House  by  the  Catholic  Lord 
Mayor  of  the  City  of  Dublin,  Mr.  John  D'Arcy,  son 
to  the  late  Matthew  D'Arcy,  nephew  to  Mr.  James 
to  the  late  Matthew  D'Arcy,  nephew  to  Mr.  James 
the  other  Insurgent  Chiefs  of  1798,  to  the  English  Pro- 
testant Lord  Lieutenant  of  Ireland,  Clarendon,  under 
whose  administration  the  unfortunate  country  suffered 
greater  miseries  than  at  any  other  epoch  of  her  history. 



I  don't  mention  this  coincidence  to  disparage  Mr.  John 
D'Arcy,  for  whom  I  feel  the  greatest  esteem;  for  he 
only  complied  with  the  duties  incumbent  on  the  high 
situation  he  owes  to  his  fellow-citizens  when  he  enter- 
tained the  enemy  of  the  independence  of  Ireland,  for 
which  so  many  of  his  near  relations  suffered. 

I  only  mention  the  circumstance  on  account  of  the 
questions  put  to  me  so  often  by  my  French  friends,  who 
cannot  conceive  why  such  vast  numbers  of  Irish  Catho- 
lics are  abandoning  the  land  of  their  birth  to  escape 
famine  and  the  many  unheard  of  miseries  there,  to  go 
off  to  America,  whilst  they  have  still  the  means  of 
paying  their  passage,  whilst  the  Catholic  Lord  Mayor 
and  the  Protestant  Lord  Lieutenant  of  Ireland  are  on 
such  friendly  terms ;  it  is  quite  beyond  their  comprehen- 
sion, for  they  say  that  if  there  was  anything  like  a 
St.  Bartholomew  or  a  revocation  of  the  Edict  of  Nantes, 
they  could  easily  understand  the  matter ;  but  it  appears 
to  them  quite  incomprehensible  to  see  Catholic  lords 
and  Catholic  members  of  the  House  of  Commons 
sitting  in  the  English  Parliament,  whilst  Irish  Catholics 
are  allowed  to  die  every  day  from  want  and  hunger; 
they  think  this  state  of  thing  is  equal,  if  not  worse,  to 
the  massacre  of  St.  Bartholomew.  That  only  lasted  a 
day,  but  the  extermination  never  ceases  in  Ireland.  To 
all  this  I  answer  that  many  causes  may  be  assigned  for 
all  this  misery,  but  the  great  one  is  religious  dissen- 
sions ;  that  about  the  time  I  was  born  no  Catholic  could 
purchase  land  as  a  perpetuity,  though  all  the  soil  had 
belonged  to  his  ancestors.  They  were  allowed  to  rent 
it  on  leases  of  31  years,  but  as  soon  as  the  land  was 

Elaimed  and  improved  it  was  let  over  their  heads  to 
DC  descendants  of  the  followers  of  Cromwell.     These 
n,  on  account  of  professing  the  Protestant  religion, 
got  leases  of  nine  hundred  and  ninety-nine  years,  or 
ninety-nine    years,  renewable    for    ever.       They    thus 


became  the  middle-men  and  cruel  taskmasters  of  the 
unfortunate  Irish  serfs :  and  although  at  a  later  period 
a  law  was  passed  empowering  Roman  Catholics  to  pur- 
chase land,  very  few  were  able  to  avail  themselves  of 
this  concession  on  account  of  the  difficulty,  or  I  may 
say  the  impossibility,  of  getting  small  portions  of  land 
to  buy.  The  titles  to  the  large  estates  were  so  disputed 
in  Chancery  that  no  one  cared  to  have  anything  to  do 
with  them.  The  law  to  sell  encumbered  estates  only 
passed  when  the  million  had  fled  or  were  about  to  emi- 
grate to  America — that  happy  country  where  the 
labourer  is  sure  of  his  hire,  and  where  he  cannot  be 
evicted  when  he  has  improved  his  land.  The  Irish 
Catholics,  so  justly  renowned  for  the  steadiness  with 
which  they  have  borne  persecution  on  account  of  their 
religion,  see  the  number  of  the  members  of  that 
religion  diminishing  yearly  from  starvation  and  bad 
government.  I  add  that  until  such  time  as  the  Irish 
have  the  power  of  making  their  own  local  laws  no 
redress  can  be  expected,  English  Whigs  and  English 
Tories  seeming  delighted  to  witness  the  decrease  of  the 
Irish  population.  Thus  that  unfortunate  country  is 
doomed  to  remain  an  enslaved  province  of  England,  and 
to  be  despised  by  every  Clarendon  who  may  be  sent 
over  to  misgovern  it.  But  I  must  quit  this  painful 
digression,  and  resume  my  narrative  at  Gorey. 

Although  the  King's  troops  had  retreated  in  every 
direction,  still  it  was  thought  that  when  they  met  rein- 
forcements on  their  way  they  might  return.  It  was, 
therefore,  deemed  necessary  for  us  to  take  every  pre- 
caution not  to  be  surprised  as  we  were  at  Newtownbarry 
after  we  had  taken  that  town ;  and,  in  consequence, 
Denis  Doyle  and  I  were  entrusted  to  place  guards  and 
out-posts  at  every  entrance  into  Gorey ;  whilst  others 
were  charged  with  the  same  service  at  the  camp.  We 
took  particular  care  to  place  a  strong  guard  on  the  road 


to  Arklow,  from  which  direction  an  attack  was  to  be 
dreaded.  We  chose  men  of  confidence  as  chiefs  of  each 
post,  and  after  we  had  given  them  the  watchword  and 
countersign,  we  made  several  rounds  during  the  night, 
and  found  all  those  chiefs  of  posts  doing  their  duty 
perfectly  well,  although  I  believe  it  was  the  first  time 
any  of  them  ever  performed  such  a  service.  Some  time 
before  day  we  were  relieved  from  the  danger  of  being 
attacked  from  the  Arklow  side,  as  a  large  body  of 
Arklow  men  came  to  join  our  standard  and  told  us  how 
the  King's  troops  had  evacuated  that  town  and  were 
retreating  on  the  road  to  Wicklow.  This  was  joyful 
news  to  me,  as  I  could  now  lie  down  with  safety  to  rest ; 
not  in  a  bed,  for  that  was  a  luxury  I  had  not  been  accus- 
tomed to  for  many  months  past.  When  I  awoke  in  the 
morning,  the  5th  of  June  (1798),  I  found  that  several 
small  parties  had  been  sent  from  the  camp  to  recon- 
noitre, one  of  them  specially  charged  to  burn  the  house 
of  that  monster  Hunter  Gowan,  about  two  or  three 
miles  distant  from  Gorey.  This  kind  of  retaliation  was 
a  poor  compensation,  and  no  consolation  to  the  unfor- 
tunate relations  of  his  victims.  Fathers,  mothers,  wives, 
children,  brothers,  sisters,  all  had  been  left  to  mourn 
those  butchered  by  such  magistrates  in  the  pay  of  the 
English  Government. 

About  this  time  a  proclamation  was  issued  from 
head  quarters,  Wexford,  out-lawing  Hunter  Gowan, 
James  Boyd,  Hawtrey  White,  and  Archibald  Hamilton 
Jacob,  all  magistrates  and  commanders  of  yeomen  corps, 
all  of  whom  had  committed  the  most  horrid  cold-blooded 
murders  of  the  peaceable  and  well-disposed  people 
throughout  the  country,  previous  to  the  Insurrection. 

It  has  been  frequently  asked,  why  Arklow  was  not 
occupied  forthwith  by  our  forces,  as  the  enemy  had  aban- 
doned the  place.  No  doubt  a  small  body  of  our  men 
might  have  been  detached  there,  to  keep  possession  of 


the  town  and  to  make  a  general  perquisition  for  arms 
and  ammunition,  which  we  stood  in  such  need  of.  But 
it  would  have  been  imprudent  to  have  marched  with  all 
our  forces,  and  leave  General  Loftus  in  our  rear  at  Car- 
new,  where  we  were  told  he  was  assembling  an  army 
and  making  the  greatest  preparations  to  come  and  attack 
our  camp,  having  received  reinforcements  from  Tullow, 
Carlow  and  different  other  places.  Perhaps  too  much 
time  was  allowed  to  elapse  before  the  march  on  Carnew 
was  ordered :  but  let  that  be  as  it  may,  a  halt  became 
absolutely  necessary,  to  afford  time  to  procure  provi- 
sions for  so  numerous  a  body  of  men  as  we  now  were, 
amounting  to  nearly  twenty  thousand,  and  at  that  season 
of  the  year,  when  all  the  old  provisions  become  so 
scarce,  it  was  on  meat  alone  we  could  count,  to  furnish 
our  troops  the  means  of  living.  As  to  rations  of  bread 
and  other  victuals,  we  found  the  greatest  difficulty  in 
procuring  any  quantity,  the  country  being  everywhere 
pillaged  and  devastated  by  the  King's  troops  and 
Orangemen,  who  had  been  placed  with  the  unfortunate 
inhabitants  on  free  quarters  previous  to  the  rising. 

Killing  cattle  at  our  camp  to  supply  the  men,  was 
often  attended  with  great  inconvenience  and  waste; 
when  the  distribution  of  the  meat  was  made,  the  men 
not  having  immediately  the  means  of  cooking  it,  never 
thought  of  carrying  it  with  them  raw,  when  the  order  to 
march  was  given.  The  offal  and  hides  being  left  on  the 
ground  would  have  caused  a  pestilence  in  the  hot 
weather,  had  it  not  been  for  the  great  exertions  of  an  old 
gentleman  of  eighty,  Mr.  Barney  Murray  of  Gorey,  who 
rode  every  day  to  the  camp  and  had  them  carried  away 
and  buried  For  this  act  of  humanity,  he  was  impri- 
soned when  the  tyrants  returned. 

On  the  6th  of  June  I  made  a  part  of  a  detachment 
sent  to  reconnoitre ;  we  were  about  thirty  in  number, 
tolerably  well  mounted  and  armed  ;  we  gave  directions  in 


different  villages  where  we  passed,  to  the  elderly  men 
who  could  not  join  the  camp,  to  take  fat  cattle  from  the 
domains  of  our  enemies,  have  them  killed,  the  meat 
boiled  and  cut  in  small  portions,  and  have  it  forwarded 
without  delay  to  our  army  at  Gorey.  Our  orders  were 
complied  with  as  well  as  could  be  expected  under  such 
circumstances.  We  pushed  on  our  reconnoissance  in  the 
direction  of  Shillelagh,  and  had  already  made  seven  or 
eight  miles  without  meeting  the  enemy,  when  all  at  once, 
we  perceived  a  corps  of  cavalry  on  march.  We  of 
course  did  not  advance  but  halted  to  see  what  direction 
they  would  take ;  they  drew  up  and  halted  also,  the 
moment  they  saw  we  would  not  advance.  After  re- 
maining a  short  time  they  wheeled  about  and  marched 
back.  We  concluded  that  by  this  manoeuvre  they 
wished  to  draw  us  into  an  ambuscade.  Perhaps  they 
only  followed  their  instructions,  or  that  they  supposed  we 
could  not  have  ventured  so  far,  if  we  had  not  had  our 
main  body  very  near  us  to  fall  back  on.  Be  that  as  it 
may,  we  thought  it  prudent  to  avoid  a  combat  with  a 
force  three  times  our  number :  besides,  our  mission  being 
accomplished,  we  returned  to  our  camp  at  Gorey  without 
having  exchanged  a  shot  with  the  enemy. 

The  next  day,  the  /th  of  June,  I  got  the  command  of 
another  small  party  to  reconnoitre.  We  took  nearly  the 
same  direction  as  the  day  before,  but  I  wished  to  return 
by  another  way  in  order  to  obtain  something  certain 
about  the  enemy's  force  at  Carnew,  and  to  approach  this 
town  as  near  as  I  could  with  safety  for  that  purpose. 
Being  assured  by  some  country  people  that  the  King's 
troops  had  left  that  place,  I  now  longed  to  get  back  to 
communicate  to  the  leaders  all  the  information  I  had 
acquired,  and  as  Monaseed  lay  in  the  way,  I  wished  to 
pay  a  short  visit  to  my  dear  mother,  and  to  let  the  men 
who  accompanied  me  take  some  refreshments  at  our 
house.  We  had  not  been  there  many  minutes,  when  we 


perceived  a  horseman  coming  on  the  road  we  had  just 
left ;  I  went  out  and  met  him.  It  struck  me  at  once  that 
he  was  a  spy.  As  he  did  not  give  any  satisfactory 
account  of  who  he  was,  or  where  he  was  going,  I  thought 
it  right  to  have  him  arrested.  He  was  rather  well- 
looking  and  about  twenty-two  or  three  years  of  age ;  hTs 
horse,  bridle  and  saddle  were  fit  to  mount  any  man ;  he 
had  no  arms.  We  could  not  find  the  least  scrap  of  paper 
on  him ;  he,  no  doubt,  might  have  had  one  sewed  in  his 
clothes,  but  we  had  no  time  to  make  a  minute  search. 
I  had  a  musket  primed  and  loaded  in  his  presence,  placed 
him  on  his  knees  and  had  it  levelled  at  him,  threatening 
to  shoot  him  forthwith  if  he  did  not  tell  me  something 
about  where  he  was  going.  All  to  no  purpose,  nothing 
would  he  divulge,  and  yet  I  was  convinced  he  was  going 
on  a  mission  for  the  enemy.  Being  eager  to  rejoin  our 
camp  without  delay,  I  got  one  of  our  tenants,  Maguire, 
who  had  been  seeing  his  wife  and  children,  and  was 
about  returning  on  foot  to  the  camp,  to  mount  the  priso- 
ner's horse  and  get  him  (the  prisoner)  up  behind  him. 

We  rode  off  quickly,  and  about  two  miles  from 
Gorey  we  met  our  entire  army  in  full  march  to  attack 
Carnew.  I  was  instantly  surrounded  by  the  chiefs  who 
were  desirous  to  hear  all  the  news  I  had  acquired  during 
the  day.  When  I  satisfied  them  on  this  point,  and  told 
them  all  the  particulars  about  the  prisoner,  the  column 
was  ordered  to  halt,  and  Esmond  Kyan  took  charge  of 
him  and  engaged  he  would  soon  make  him  speak.  For 
this  purpose,  he  made  him  put  his  head  into  the  mouth 
of  the  howitzer  or  mortar,  and  threatened  to  blow  him 
up  into  the  air,  if  he  did  not  immediately  confess  all  he 
knew.  But  just  as  with  me,  nothing  whatever  could  he 
extort  from  this  most  extraordinary  young  man,  and  yet 
it  was  evident  he  came  from  the  country  then  occupied 
by  our  enemies.  As  it  was  useless  to  try  any  further 
experiments  on  this  obstinate  fellow,  he  was  sent  to  the 


rear  of  the  column  to  be  escorted  with  the  other  priso- 
ners, and  our  army  resumed  its  march  towards  Carnew ; 
although  it  was  now  well  known  that  General  Loftus 
had  quit  the  town  the  day  before  and  marched  with  all 
the  forces  under  his  orders  to  Tullow.  But  it  appeared 
that  a  march  on  Carnew,  or  a  demonstration  of  some 
kind  had  become  necessary  to  appease  the  wrath  of  the 
vast  numbers  who  had  had  their  dearest  friends  and 
relations  slaughtered  there,  previous  to  the  rising.  How 
far  this  march  was  inconsistent  with  our  military  opera- 
tions, we  learned  before  many  days  passed ;  but  it  was  a 
difficult  matter  to  avoid  committing  faults,  circumstanced 
as  we  were. 

Our  army  encamped,  the  /th  of  June,  on  Kileavan 
Hill,  near  Carnew,  and  in  a  short  time  afterwards,  the 
greatest  part  of  this  town  was  burned  Many  houses, 
however,  belonging  to  those  who  were  known  not  to  have 
participated  in  the  cold-blooded  murders  and  tortures 
perpetrated  there,  were  exempted  from  this  useless 

To  destroy  isolated  houses,  liable  to  serve  as  citadels 
or  places  of  refuge  to  the  enemy,  became  necessary, 
according  to  our  plan  of  carrying  on  the  war,  but  other- 
wise it  was  bad  policy  to  destroy  any  habitation,  no 
matter  who  the  owner  might  be.  Bob  Blaney's  malt 
houses,  and  indeed  all  his  concerns  were  saved,  because 
he  was  so  well  known  for  his  humanity  and  exertions  in 
endeavouring  to  save  the  lives  of  the  unfortunate  people 
who  were  brought  to  Carnew  to  be  tortured  there  pre- 
vious to  the  insurrection ;  his  brother  Ralph  was  less 
popular,  and  of  course  his  house  shared  the  fate  of  his 
neighbours.  Yet  it  was  known  that  Ralph  Blaney,  after 
the  war  was  over,  did  many  kind  acts  to  people  who  were 
in  distress.  His  handsome  house  at  Buckstown,  not 
being  destroyed,  made  him  very  grateful  to  the  people 
of  that  neighbourhood,  whom  he  knew  had  contributed 
to  save  his  property  there. 


Our  camp  on  Kileavan  Hill  was  visited  by  some  Pro- 
testants of  the  neighbourhood,  who  feeling  they  had 
nothing  to  dread  on  account  of  the  neutral  part  they 
maintained  during  this  struggle  for  independence, 
approached  their  Catholic  acquaintances  with  confi- 
dence. They  received  them  well,  as  persons  considered 
friendly  to  our  cause.  But  judge  of  my  surprise,  and 
how  glad  I  was,  when  I  saw  amongst  these  visitors, 
young  Effy  Page,  Ralph  Blaney's  clerk,  he,  who  had 
had  poor  Ned  Nowlan  taken  prisoner  on  the  24th  of 
May,  when  we  were  passing  at  Hacketstown.  I  have 
mentioned  all  the  particulars  of  this  matter  in  the  begin- 
ning of  my  narrative.  Of  course  I  had  Page  taken  into 
custody,  and  given  up  to  Nowlan's  two  uncles,  Taddy 
and  Darby  Laughlan,  and  to  his  brother  John  Nowlan. 
All  three  were  fortunately  present  at  the  camp  at  the 
time.  I  related  to  them  in  Page's  presence,  how  he  had 
their  nephew  and  brother  arrested  and  thrown  into  prison 
at  Hacketstown ;  he  owned  it  was  true,  and  added,  that 
Nowlan  was  safe,  and  would  be  exchanged  for  him ; 
hoped  he  would  not  be  ill  treated,  etc.  I  impressed  in  the 
strongest  manner  on  the  uncles  and  brother  of  poor 
Nowlan  the  necessity  of  keeping  this  young  scamp  well 
guarded  until  the  exchange  took  place  ;  that  if  they  had 
not  been  there  I  should  have  taken  charge  of  Page 
myself  and  never  lost  sight  of  him  before  all  was  accom- 
plished. Of  course  they  replied  I  might  rest  assured 
they  would  do  everything  necessary  to  hasten  the  release 
of  their  relative.  I  quit  them  upon  this,  having  a  good 
deal  to  do  elsewhere.  I  was  happy  to  think  that  chance 
had  thrown  this  young  scoundrel  into  our  hands,  and 
that  thereby  poor  Nowlan  would  be  snatched  from  an 
untimely  end.  Think,  then,  of  my  sorrow  and  indigna- 
tion, when  Taddy  Laughlan,  the  uncle,  told  me  next  day 
that  young  Page's  father,  with  whom  he  was  well 
acquainted,  came  to  him  and  pledged  himself  in  the  most 


solemn  manner  that  if  his  son  was  put  at  liberty  they 
both  would  go  immediately  and  have  Nolan  liberated 
Laughlan  had  the  fatuity  to  accede  to  this  proposition, 
thinking,  no  doubt,  it  was  the  surest  way  of  getting  his 
nephew  out  of  prison ;  but  unfortunately  he  was  cruelly 
disappointed.  In  thirteen  days  afterwards  poor  Nowlan 
was  brought  back  to  Carnew,  and  there  immolated,  to 
appease  the  thirst  of  the  bloody  Orangemen  of  that 

Ned  Nowlan  was  a  powerful  strong  man,  twenty-four 
years  of  age.  The  murder  of  so  fine  a  young  fellow  was 
deeply  felt  by  all  who  knew  him,  particularly  as  no 
charge  whatever  could  be  brought  against  him.  But  it 
sufficed  that  he  was  brave  and  a  Roman  Catholic,  to 
have  him  sacrificed  to  the  fury  of  the  relentless  tyrants 
and  magistrates  of  Carnew.  It  makes  me  melancholy 
to  think  that  he  was  not  saved.  His  mother's  sisters 
were  married  to  respectable  farmers,  enjoying  considera- 
tion and  influence  in  the  country.  They  did  not  exert 
themselves  on  this  occasion  as  they  might  have  done. 
Both  Page  and  his  father  should  have  been  retained 
prisoners  and  the  females  of  their  family  charged  with 
negotiating  the  exchange  of  the  prisoners.  Alas ! 
nothing  was  done. 

An  incident  occurred,  scarcely  worth  noticing,  if  it 
did  not  shew  how  much  we  stood  in  need  of  discipline 
and  some  kind  of  control,  to  prevent  our  young  men 
scampering  through  the  country  without  any  object  in 

Before  quitting  the  camp  at  Kileavan  Hill,  I  wished 
to  leave  a  provision  of  salt  at  my  mother's ;  it  was  an 
article  we  then  began  to  feel  the  want  of,  and  for  this 
purpose  I  brought  my  nephew  James  Kennedy,  a  lad  of 
twelve  or  thirteen  years  of  age,  mounted  on  a  breeding 
mare,  more  than  twenty  years  old,  and  the  only  one  of 
all  our  horses  that  the  Orangemen  left  on  the  land.  I 


was  accompanied  by  Jacob  Byrne  of  Ballyellis.  We 
were  riding  slowly,  when  we  stopped  to  speak  with 
some  friends  we  met  who  were  just  coming  out  of  the 
town  of  Carnew.  My  nephew  who  preceded  us  about 
two  hundred  yards,  was  thrown  on  the  road  in  the  most 
brutal  manner  by  two  fellows  who  mounted  the  old 
mare  and  came  up  meeting  us.  The  poor  boy,  all 
covered  with  dust,  was  running  after  them,  crying  and 
shouting  to  stop  them.  I  crossed  them  in  the  road  and 
desired  them  to  alight  instantly,  which  they  positively 
refused  to  do.  Jacob  Byrne,  in  assisting  me  to  arrest 
these  fellows,  narrowly  escaped ;  my  piece  in  the 
struggle  went  off  and  shot  his  horse  dead  under  him ; 
both  fell  so  suddenly  on  the  road  that  I  feared  he  was 
badly  wounded.  Fortunately  he  did  not  receive  the 
least  injury ;  he  lost  a  fine  horse,  that  was  all,  and  the 
scamps  betook  themselves  to  the  fields,  leaving  the  old 
mare  behind  them.  So  we  proceeded  to  Carnew.  Mrs. 
Leonard,  a  widow,  who  kept  a  great  warehouse  and 
establishment  there,  and  whose  premises  were  respected 
in  the  general  conflagration,  had  put  aside  for  me  a 
small  bag  of  salt,  which  young  Kennedy  took  charge  of. 
But  I  had  to  have  him  escorted  back  to  our  house,  three 
miles  distant.  This  circumstance  with  many  similar 
that  occurred,  shewed  the  necessity  there  was  to  have 
companies  formed,  and  the  captains  and  lieutenants 
regularly  elected  by  their  men :  these  companies  to  be 
from  one  to  two  hundred  strong,  to  answer  the  proximity 
of  the  locality  the  men  belonged  to :  each  company  to 
have  a  first  and  second  captain,  a  first  and  second  lieu- 
tenant, a  first  and  second  ensign :  one  at  least  of  each 
of  these  ranks  to  be  continually  present  with  his  com- 
pany. Their  duty,  of  course,  would  be  to  look  after  the 
welfare  of  all  those  who  elected  them  to  the  honour  of 
the  command ;  to  see  that  provisions  were  procured  and 
regularly  distributed,  but  of  all  things,  to  pass  a  minute 


inspection  every  morning  of  the  arms  of  their  respective 
companies,  and  to  be  more  particular  about  the  pikes, 
as  on  this  weapon  so  much  depended  ;  it  being  remarked 
that  many  of  our  men,  as  soon  as  they  got  any  kind  of 
firelock,  even  an  old  pistol  which  could  not  fire  a  shot, 
gave  away  their  pikes  to  others.  These  men,  at  the 
inspection,  could  be  mildly  admonished  and  made 
ashamed  of  having  given  away  a  fine  pike  that  such 
good  use  of  had  been  made  at  the  last  battle,  etc.  A 
simple  organization  of  this  kind,  with  a  few  other  mili- 
tary regulations,  would  have  made  our  army  of  pikemen 
formidable  indeed.  Our  fire-arms  being  of  different  cali- 
bres, we  could  not  easily  get  cartridges  made  to  fit  them 
all ;  and  this  was  another  reason  why  we  should  have 
paid  more  attention  to  see  that  the  pikes  were  always  in 
good  condition. 

By  the  march  of  our  army  to  Kileavan  Hill  we  shewed 
the  enemy  that  had  retreated  on  Tullow  under  the  com- 
mand of  General  Loftus  that  we  expected  to  have  met 
them  in  the  open  field ;  but  they  preferred  shutting  them- 
selves up  in  the  town,  after  evacuating  Shillelagh,  Tina- 
hely,  and  all  that  part  of  the  county  of  Wicklow  bor- 
dering on  the  county  of  Wexford,  sooner  than  risk  a 
battle  against  our  pikemen  in  the  plain,  though  they 
had  cavalry  well  mounted  and  knew  we  had  none.  Thus 
we  were  obliged  to  go  and  attack  them  in  their  towns, 
where  they  were  entrenched  and  barricaded  in  such  a 
strong  way  that  our  pikemen  found  the  greatest  diffi- 
culty in  making  use  of  their  arms. 

But  there  was  a  plan  suggested  which  if  it  had  been 
put  into  execution  would  have  in  some  measure  remedied 
our  critical  situation  and  have  forced  the  enemy  to  quit 
their  strongholds.  This  plan  consisted  in  having  a  corps 
of  six  or  eight  thousand  men  detached  as  a  corps  of 
observation,  manoeuvring  from  Tinahely  to  Rathdrum, 
and  menacing  to  intercept  the  Dublin  road  leading  to 


Arklow,  the  command  of  this  corps  to  be  entrusted  to 
Garrett  Byrne  of  Ballymanus.  This  gentleman  was  well 
known  to  the  gentry  of  the  county  of  Wexford  and  much 
esteemed  by  them ;  but  he  was  still  better  known  in  the 
county  of  Wicklow,  where  all  the  people  were  ready  to 
follow  him  through  thick  and  thin.  It  was  in  this  situa- 
tion he  could  have  rendered  the  most  important  service, 
aided  by  so  many  chiefs,  all  of  whom  had  distinguished 
themselves  in  each  combat  with  the  enemy,  such  as  Dan 
Kervin,  of  Ballanacar,  and  a  host  of  others  equally  brave 
and  enterprising.  Garrett  Byrne's  instructions  were  to 
be,  to  avoid  a  general  battle ;  to  attack  all  small  parties 
of  the  enemy  and  harass  them  in  every  way ;  to  keep 
open  his  communication  with  the  main  body  or  army ; 
but  if  separated  by  a  superior  force  of  the  enemy,  he 
could  retire  into  the  mountains  of  Wicklow,  to  Glen- 
malure  and  the  Seven  Churches,  where  his  men  would 
have  flocks  of  sheep  at  their  disposition,  and  from  thence 
he  could  have  easily  opened  a  communication  with  the 
Kildare  men.  Had  this  plan  been  decided  on  and  carried 
into  execution  on  the  5th  or  6th  of  June,  we  should  not 
have  had  to  fight  a  battle  at  Arklow,  for  the  town  was 
abandoned  by  the  King's  forces,  and  the  panic  was  so 
great,  that  we  might  have  reached  Dublin  without  meet- 
ing much  resistance,  and  in  all  probability  have  assem- 
bled there  in  a  few  days,  under  the  walls  of  the  capital, 
more  than  sixty  thousand  fighting  men,  that  would  have 
come  flocking  from  all  parts  of  Ireland,  to  join  the 
standard  of  independence. 

All  these  plans  were  suddenly  relinquished  on  learn- 
ing that  the  town  of  Arklow  was  re-occupied  by  the 
English  and  the  Orange  yeomanry,  and  by  reinforce- 
ments from  Dublin ;  carriages,  jaunting  cars,  carts, 
waggons,  etc.,  all  being  pressed  into  requisition  to  trans- 
port troops  there  in  all  haste,  to  strengthen  the  garrison. 

Our  army  returned  on  the  8th  of  June  to  its  former 


camp  at  Gorey  Hill,  to  make  preparations  for  the  attack 
of  the  enemy  at  Arklow.  Our  ammunition  became  very 
scarce,  except  for  the  artillery,  of  which  we  had  still  a 
tolerably  good  supply,  and  provisions  of  all  kinds  were 
very  difficult  to  be  had  for  so  numerous  a  body  as  was 
now  agglomerated  at  our  camp. 

Different  applications  for  gunpowder  was  made  to  the 
town  of  Wexford,  which  were  not  complied  with,  under 
the  pretext  that  it  was  all  wanted  for  the  defence  of  the 
city,  as  if  we  were  not  defending  the  town  more  effectu- 
ally than  its  inhabitants.  Though  we  were  thirty  miles 
away,  still  we  were  fighting  their  battles  as  well  as  our 
own.  At  length  we  received  a  very  small  barrel  of 
powder  from  Wexford ;  a  scanty  supply,  no  doubt,  but 
it  arrived  very  opportunely,  the  eve  of  a  great  battle ;  it 
was  distributed  immediately  to  those  who  had  firelocks, 
as  there  was  no  time  to  have  it  made  into  cartridges.  It 
was  whilst  witnessing  this  distribution  that  poor  Nick 
Murphy  and  I  lamented  the  loss  of  our  large  jar  of  fine 
powder,  which  held  sufficient  to  have  supplied  our  army 
for  a  long  time. 

I  have  mentioned  already  how  John  Sheridan  had 
discovered  to  Hunter  Gowan  the  place  where  we  had 
this  jar  concealed,  whilst  Murphy  and  I  were  absent, 
going  from  place  to  place  to  conceal  ourselves  and  to 
escape  the  fury  of  the  Orangemen. 

About  this  time  the  result  of  the  hard-fought  battle 
at  Ross  was  known  at  our  camp,  and  also  that  Bagenal 
Harvey  had  resigned  the  chief  command,  and  that 
Father  Philip  Roche  had  been  chosen  by  the  people  to 
replace  him  as  commander-in-chief  of  their  forces  before 

Roche  was  a  very  superior,  intelligent  man.  Of 
course  we  regretted  seeing  him  leave  our  corps,  though 
we  were  in  no  want  of  chiefs  to  lead  us  to  victory.  We 
had  still  Father  John  Murphy  and  Father  Michael 


Murphy,  both  enjoying  immense  influence  amongst  the 
fighting  men. 

Besides,  we  had  Anthony  Perry,  Esmond  Kyan,  and 
many  other  distinguished  leaders,  all  of  whom  by  this 
time  were  well  known  to  have  merited  the  rank  they 
obtained  in  the  United  Irish  system.  What  we  wanted 
most,  was  gunpowder  and  a  proper  plan  of  campaigning, 
to  draw  the  enemy  from  their  entrenchments  into  the 
plain,  and  thereby  enable  us  to  bring  our  intrepid  pike- 
men  into  action,  as  we  did  at  the  memorable  battle  of 
Tubberneering  against  Walpole. 

We  were  now  in  possession  of  the  whole  of  the 
county  of  Wexf ord,  except  Newtownbarry  on  the  Slaney 
confines  of  the  county  of  Carlow,  New  Ross  on  the 
Barrow  confines  of  Waterford  and  Kilkenny  county,  and 
the  Fort  of  Duncannon.  We  were  also  masters  of  that 
part  of  the  county  of  Wicklow  bordering  on  the  county 
of  Wexford,  from  Carnew  to  Shillelagh  and  Tinahely  to 
the  town  of  Arklow.  It  is  only  justice  to  say  that  those 
districts  of  the  county  of  Wicklow  furnished  our  army 
with  the  most  determined,  fine,  brave  fellows,  and  all  to 
a  man,  priding  themselves  on  being  United  Irishmen. 
They  had  all,  either  personally,  or  some  members  of  their 
families,  suffered  the  most  cruel  tortures  and  persecu- 
tion, such  as  having  had  pitch  caps  put  on  their  heads ; 
they  had  been  picketed  or  half  hung ;  they  had  had  the 
King's  troops  living  on  free  quarters  at  their  respective 
homes,  and  there  committing  all  sorts  of  atrocious 
crimes,  shooting  the  inhabitants,  burning  the  houses,  etc. 
Several  men  from  Dunlavin  came  to  tell  the  dreadful 
fate  of  their  nearest  relations  who  had  been  murdered 
there  in  cold  blood  previous  to  the  rising.  These  fine 
fellows  were  now  only  occupied  how  they  could  best 
serve  their  country's  cause.  How  much  it  is  to  be  I 
lamented  that  the  inhabitants  of  all  the  districts  of  I  fc^ 
Ireland  were  not  then  animated  with  the  same  love  of  I 


independence !  Then  indeed  the  English  yoke  would 
have  been  soon  shaken  off,  and  no  power  could  have 
fastened  it  on  again.  England  would  have  had  too 
much  to  do  at  home  to  keep  her  own  population  quiet, 
and  guard  herself  against  the  French  nation,  at  that  time 
so  powerful  and  so  desirous  to  see  England  weakened 
and  reduced  to  be  a  second-rate  state,  which  evidently 
she  would  have  been  the  moment  Ireland  was  separated 
from  her. 

A  short  notice  of  a  man  whom  I  knew  well,  from 
one  of  the  above-mentioned  districts  in  the  county  of 
Wicklow,  and  who  acted  throughout  our  struggle  for 
independence  a  most  conspicuous  part,  first  in  the  organ- 
ization of  the  United  Irish  system,  and  subsequently  as 
one  of  our  brave  chiefs  in  the  war,  will  be  in  its  place 
here  on  account  of  what  is  to  follow. 

Matthew  Doyle,  who  resided  on  the  way  between 
Ballyarthur  and  Arklow,  was  appointed  by  the  provincial 
chiefs  to  travel  in  the  adjacent  counties,  to  give  instruc- 
tions to  the  societies,  and  to  report  on  their  progress. 
Putenham  MacCabe  was  frequently  sent  from  Dublin  on 
the  same  mission.  I  met  them  at  Nick  Murphy's  house, 
at  Monaseed,  where  they  stopped  the  night,  to  take 
refreshments.  No  two  men  could  be  more  dissimilar 
in  manner.  MacCabe  was  quite  a  man  of  the  world, 
rather  handsome,  plausible  in  conversation,  with  a  myste- 
rious air  of  importance,  which  was  greatly  enhanced  by 
his  tie,  wig,  and  other  disguises  he  had  to  put  on  during 
the  perilous  mission  he  had  undertaken  for  the  welfare 
of  Ireland.  I  met  MacCabe  in  Paris  in  1803.  I  never 
could  rightly  understand  his  patriotism.  We  were 
several  Irish  officers  at  the  time,  just  setting  off  from 
Paris  for  Brest,  from  which  place  we  expected  an  expe- 
dition would  soon  sail  to  free  our  unfortunate  country. 
MacCabe  seemed  to  gibe  at  our  great  hurry  to  repair  to 
the  coast,  just  as  if  he  knew  the  secrets  of  the  Govern- 


ment ;  nor  could  I  ever  learn  that  he  volunteered  to  go 
on  any  of  the  expeditions  preparing  in  the  French  sea- 
ports to  invade  Ireland  Yet  he  ran  great  risks,  going 
frequently  to  England  and  Ireland  and  returning  to 
Fiance  during  the  war.  In  1807  I  was  with  a  battalion 
of  our  regiment  in  garrison  at  Antwerp.  MacCabe 
arrived  there  from  England  by  way  of  Amsterdam ;  he 
had  two  ladies  under  his  care,  who  were  coming  from 
Ireland,  Madame  Berthemy  and  her  daughter  Madem- 
oiselle Berthemy.  We  invited  these  ladies  and  MacCabe 
to  dine  with  us  at  our  mess,  which  they  accepted,  and  we 
spent  a  very  pleasant  evening  at  the  Hotel  du  Lion  d'Or. 
MacCabe  shewed  us  a  handsome  case  of  pistols  he  had 
purchased  in  London,  and  which  he  intended  for  General 
Arthur  O'Connor.  This  was  the  last  time  I  ever  spoke 
to  MacCabe,  though  I  saw  him  one  day  in  the  streets  of 
Paris  after  the  restoration  of  the  Bourbons.  He  had 
just  arrived  from  Dublin,  where  he  had  been  imprisoned 
some  time. 

Matthew  Doyle  was  a  stout,  healthy  looking  man ; 
when  travelling  he  was  always  mounted  on  a  good  horse, 
as  the  farmers  and  graziers  generally  are  when  going  on 
their  business  to  fairs  or  markets.  In  this  way  Doyle 
passed  through  the  country  quietly,  without  attracting 
any  notice,  yet  notwithstanding  all  his  precautions,  his 
dwelling  was  one  of  the  first  in  the  country  where  the 
soldiers  were  let  loose  on  free  quarters.  The  Ancient 
Britons,  finding  Doyle  had  escaped  into  the  woods,  estab- 
lished themselves  in  his  house,  where  they  kept  his  wife 
and  children  prisoners  until  they  were  called  away  when 
Arklow  was  abandoned  on  the  5th  of  June.  Doyle  had 
the  satisfaction  of  seeing,  before  the  war  terminated, 
these  cruel  monsters  nearly  all  slain  at  the  battle  of 
Ballyellis  in  which  he  took  an  active  part.  But  in  a 
few  days  after,  he  was  taken  prisoner  and  on  the  point 
of  being  shot,  when  it  was  thought  better  to  put  him 


into  a  regiment  as  a  private  soldier ;  this  regiment  being 
one  of  those  sent  to  Egypt  under  the  command  of  Sir 
Ralph  Abercrombie.  Doyle  made  the  campaign  there 
against  the  French.  When  discharged  a  few  years  after- 
wards, he  was  very  vain  of  his  military  acquirements, 
which  he  trusted  might  one  day  be  employed  for  the 
emancipation  of  his  country.  He  was  introduced  to 
poor  Robert  Emmet  in  1803. 

I  mention  all  these  particulars  about  Doyle  previous 
to  giving  an  account  of  the  battle  of  Arklow,  because  no 
man  knew  the  environs  of  that  town  better  than  he  did, 
and  no  one  was  more  capable  of  making  a  diversion  in 
the  rear  of  the  enemy's  line,  had  it  been  resolved  to  do 
so  during  the  battle,  and  which  no  doubt  would  have 
rendered  the  victory  less  dear  to  our  army. 

BATTLE   OF  ARKLOW — QTH   OF  JUNE,    1798. 

At  about  ten  o'clock  in  the  morning,  all  the  prepara- 
tions that  were  possible  to  be  made  being  now  ready,  and 
all  our  men  who  were  absent  during  the  night  having 
joined  their  respective  corps,  the  order  to  march  from 
Gorey  Hill  was  given,  and  never  did  I  witness  anything 
before  like  the  joy  that  seemed  to  brighten  every  coun- 
tenance when  this  command  was  repeated  from  rank  to 
rank  throughout  the  entire  column ;  it  had  more  the 
appearance  of  a  march  to  some  great  place  of  amuse- 
ment than  to  the  battle  field.  I  think  we  mustered 
twenty  thousand  strong  at  least,  but  we  had  not  two 
thousand  firelocks  fit  for  use.  The  greater  part  of  the 
muskets  were  taken  by  the  country  people,  little  accus- 
tomed to  make  use  of  them,  the  locks  soon  became 
deranged,  and  we  had  no  gunsmiths  following  our  army 
to  repair  them,  nor  had  we  even  blacksmiths  to  repair 
our  pikes  ;  for  those  poor  fellows  were  either  shot,  trans- 


ported,  or  in  prison  previous  to  the  rising.  But  still  we 
had  some  three  or  four  thousand  tolerably  well  mounted 
pikes  in  our  army,  and  the  remainder  of  the  men  were 
armed  with  weapons  of  different  sorts,  all  of  which  in 
close  fighting  would  suffice  against  the  soldier's  gun  and 
bayonet.  We  met  no  scouting  parties  from  the  enemy's 
camp  before  we  reached  Coolgreany ;  in  this  town  we 
made  a  short  halt,  to  let  the  men  take  some  refreshments, 
and  after  a  rest  of  less  than  an  hour  we  resumed  our 
march  on  Arklow,  the  enemy's  cavalry  flying  back  before 
us,  without  waiting  to  exchange  a  single  shot  with  our 
advanced  guard.  Thus  we  arrived  between  three  and 
four  o'clock  (after  making  ten  Irish  miles),  in  front  of  the 
enemy's  line,  which  we  found  intrenched  and  barricaded, 
to  commence  a  regular  battle,  with  our  very  irregular 
troops,  against  a  regular  and  disciplined  English  army. 
We  first  perceived  a  number  of  field  officers  seemingly 
very  busy  riding  before  their  line  of  battle,  but  they,  as 
soon  as  the  first  shot  was  fired  from  our  troops,  retired  to 
the  rear  of  their  line,  and  we  saw  one  of  them  fall  from 
his  horse,  we  supposed  either  badly  wounded  or  killed. 
He  belonged  to  the  Durham  Fencibles  that  occupied  this 
strong  position. 

Esmond  Kyan  lost  no  time  in  drawing  up  our  artillery 
to  attack  this  position,  and  the  very  first  volley  he  fired 
he  had  the  satisfaction  to  see  that  he  had  dismounted 
one  of  the  enemy's  cannon.  The  Monaseed  corps,  to 
which  I  belonged,  entered  the  field  in  front  of  the 
enemy's  intrenchments  at  the  same  time  with  Esmond 
Kyan  and  the  artillery;  but  we  were  instantly  ordered 
to  file  to  the  right  and  attack  the  outlets  or  fishery  where 
the  enemy  was  in  great  force,  and  the  corps  not  yet 
arrived  were  to  take  our  place  to  guard  the  artillery  and 
force  the  enemy's  position  in  that  direction. 

We  immediately  obeyed  and  marched  to  attack  the 
fishery,  but  we  were  greatly  exposed  to  the  fire  from  the 


enemy's  intrench  ment  in  crossing  an  open  field,  and  by 
this  prompt  measure  we  lost  several  fine  fellows.  We 
were  soon  joined  by  other  corps  of  our  army  that  had 
made  a  circuitous  road  and  consequently  without  losing 
any  men.  We,  being  now  in  sufficient  force,  began  the 
attack,  and  in  a  short  time  the  battle  became  general  in 
every  direction  where  the  King's  troops  were  perceived, 
and  the  yeoman  cavalry  shewed  more  pluck  on  this 
occasion  than  usual.  They  accompanied  the  regular 
forces  in  several  charges  against  our  men,  but  without 
success,  for  we  forced  both  them  and  the  English  troops 
to  abandon  their  position  in  the  fishery  with  great  loss 
of  men  killed  and  wounded.  Such  were  the  prodigies  of 
valour  exhibited  by  our  chiefs  at  the  head  of  their  re- 
spective corps,  that  General  Needham,  who  commanded 
in  chief  the  King's  forces,  from  the  onset  despaired  of 
success,  and  he  had  already  begun  to  take  the  necessary 
dispositions  to  effect  his  retreat  before  the  great  mass  of 
our  pikemen  should  be  brought  against  him.  His  troops, 
he  saw  plainly,  though  they  fought  bravely,  could  no 
longer  resist  the  impetuosity  of  our  attacks  in  the  open 
field.  Besides,  he  feared  every  moment  that  his  forces 
might  disband  in  confusion,  particularly  that  part  of 
Walpole's  division  which  escaped  at  Tubberneering,  and 
which,  although  now  considerably  reinforced  by  the 
Cavan  militia  and  other  troops  sent  from  Dublin,  could 
not  forget  its  late  panic  at  Clough,  where  Walpole  was 

General  Needham  had  also  the  cavalry  regiment  of 
Ancient  Britons  and  at  least  a  dozen  corps  of  yeoman 
cavalry  to  bring  against  us,  whilst  we  had  scarcely  any 
men  mounted  to  make  head  against  them ;  yet  we  de- 
feated and  dispersed  them  in  every  engagement  during 
the  day.  Captain  Thomas  Knox  Grogan  at  the  head  of 
the  Castletown  cavalry  was  one  of  the  first  who 
attempted  to  charge  our  troops ;  both  he  and  his  cousin 


James  Moor  of  Monaseed  and  several  others  of  his  corps 
were  killed  in  an  instant  and  the  rest  dispersed.  I  knew 
them  both  well ;  Moor  was  a  near  neighbour,  and  we 
rented  land  from  Grogan,  one  of  the  most  worthy  men  in 
the  country.  All  the  other  cavalry  corps  that  came  to 
attack  us,  were  defeated  and  dispersed  in  like  manner 
as  Grogan's.  So  we  were  now,  after  four  hours  of  des- 
perate fighting,  completely  masters  of  the  field  of  battle, 
with  the  exception  of  one  corner,  the  position  occupied 
by  Colonel  Skerret  and  the  Durham  Fencibles,  and  this 
post  was  only  attacked  by  our  artillery,  commanded  by 
Esmond  Kyan.  Unfortunately,  this  brave  and  experi- 
enced officer,  after  having  forced  Skerret  to  abandon  his 
first  stronghold,  received  a  wound  which  disabled  him  for 
some  time.  He  had  his  cork  arm  with  a  part  of  the 
stump  carried  off  by  a  cannon  ball  This  accident 
afforded  time  to  Skerret  and  his  much  vaunted  Durham 
Fencibles  to  barricade  themselves  in  their  new  position. 
But,  had  a  few  hundred  of  our  pikemen  been  brought  to 
bear  on  them  during  this  manoeuvre,  they  would  have 
fled  as  well  as  all  the  other  troops  under  the  command  of 
General  Needham.  For  really  those  Fencibles  showed 
no  bravery,  further  than  to  keep  themselves  under  cover 
and  away  as  much  as  possible  from  our  pikemen.  They 
never  once  attempted  during  the  battle  to  assist  the 
other  troops  of  their  division,  which  were  overwhelmed 
in  every  direction  by  our  army.  Thus  by  keeping  as 
much  as  he  could  out  of  the  fight,  Colonel  Skerret  made 
a  reputation  for  himself,  and  for  which,  according  to  the 
military  letter)',  he  was  recompensed  with  the  rank  of 

On  the  other  hand  the  intrepid  and  heroic  chiefs  of 
our  Irish  army  looked  for  no  other  reward  than  to  see 
their  country  free  and  independent.  Stimulated  by  this 
sublime  aspiration,  they  cheerfully  marched  to  meet  the 
enemy,  no  matter  how  perilous  the  situation,  and  gene- 


rally  under  the  greatest  disadvantage,  suffering  all  man- 
ner of  privations ;  and  here  it  is  only  just  that  I  should 
mention  some  of  those  who  displayed  the  greatest 
bravery  and  courage  during  this  action. 

The  brave  Michael  Redmond  with  the  Limerick 
corps,  and  the  men  of  his  own  neighbourhood  contri- 
buted most  powerfully  in  gaining  the  battle.  After 
defeating  the  King's  troops  in  the  fishery,  he  was  pur- 
suing them  into  the  town,  when  he  received  a  mortal 
wound  of  which  he  expired  instantly.  This  misfortune 
threw  a  damp  over  the  men  who  looked  to  poor  Red 
mond  as  their  principal  chief;  but  they  were  again 
cheered  and  encouraged  by  Anthony  Perry,  Murt 
Murnagh  and  other  intrepid  leaders. 

The  Reverend  Michael  Murphy  who  led  on  his  men 
with  skill  and  courage,  enjoying,  as  he  did,  an  immense 
influence  over  all  those  who  knew  him,  his  death  in  the 
heat  of  the  battle  was  no  doubt  a  cruel  loss,  but  not  an 
irreparable  one,  as  some  people  would  have  it  thought ; 
for,  if  it  was  considered  necessary  to  have  a  clergyman  to 
lead  the  people  to  victory,  there  was  still  one  in  our 
ranks  who  enjoyed  a  greater  ascendancy  over  the  masses 
than  the  unfortunate  man  who  was  killed.     Father  John 
Murphy,  apparently  with  the  simplicity  of  a  child,  was  a 
lion  in  the  fight ;  in  short  he  knew  not,  nor  cared,  nor 
feared  danger,  from  the  moment  he  was  forced  to  take 
the  field  to  save  his  life  from  the  tyrants  who  had  burned 
his  house,  his  chapel,  and  all  he  possessed,  on  the  26th  of 
May:   and  this  day  at  Arklow  he  was  seen  in  every 
critical  situation  encouraging  the  men  and  exposing  him- 
self to  the  greatest  danger,  wherever  he  thought  his 
presence  could  be  useful.     He  was  so  well  known  that 
the  moment  he  was  perceived  there  was  a  general  burst 
of  joy  and  enthusiasm  throughout  the  ranks  of  the  army. 
Thus  it  may  be  fairly  said  of  Father  John,  that  he  con- 
tributed most  powerfully  to  the  success  of  the  day  at 


James  Kavanagh  of  Ballyscarton  and  Michael  Fearet 
of  Tara,  with  many  other  fine  fellows,  were  killed  at  the 
head  of  their  men,  driving  the  King's  troops  from  the 
fishery.  Dan  Kervan  with  the  other  county  of  Wicklow 
leaders,  distinguished  themselves  by  their  coolness  and 
bravery  all  through  the  fighting ;  and  of  the  Monaseed 
corps,  I  must  as  usual  mention  Ned  Fennell,  Johnny 
Doyle,  Nick  Murphy,  and  indeed  I  could  add  a  host  of 
others  who  shewed  the  greatest  intrepidity  in  heading 
their  men  in  the  thick  of  the  fire.  In  short,  in  every 
corps  of  our  army,  were  to  be  seen  during  this  battle  very 
young  men  indeed,  displaying  the  greatest  courage  and 
carelessness  about  the  great  danger  they  were  exposed 
to.  Such  was  the  endearing  love  of  country  and  inde-  \ 
pendence  which  animated  the  soul  of  each,  that  if  they 
had  been  well  commanded,  the  enemy  had  no  force  in 
Ireland  to  withstand  them  any  time.  I  enter  into  these 
particulars  to  shew  that  we  were  not  in  want  of  brave 
and  experienced  leaders  to  head  the  men  in  the  action. 
What  we  wanted  was  a  commander- in-chief,  who  should 
have  been  chosen  by  all  the  other  chiefs,  previous  to  the 
battle,  and  whose  orders  alone  should  have  been  punc- 
tually executed,  and  no  other  that  did  not  emanate 
from  him.  There  were  several  trustworthy  men  to 
whom  this  important  command  might  have  been  con- 
fided, such  as  Garrett  Byrne  of  Ballymanus,  Anthony 
Perry,  Esmond  Kyan,  Edward  Fitzgerald  of  New  Park, 
and  indeed  many  others  who  would  have  been  quite 
equal  to  the  task,  with  a  council  to  direct  them  and  a 
staff  of  aides-des-camp,  composed  of  fine  young  fellows, 
to  carry  their  orders  and  assist  them  in  the  fight.  But 
instead  of  having  a  general-in-chief  and  a  staff  organ- 
i/.ed  in  this  way,  we  were  often  at  a  loss  to  know  from 
whom  the  orders  came.  For  my  own  part,  I  never  could 
ascertain  who  it  was  that  gave  the  order  to  our  army  to 
march  back  to  our  camp  at  Gorey  Hill,  at  the  moment 


the  battle  was  gained  and  the  King's  forces  quitting  the 
town  and  retreating  on  the  road  to  Wicklow.  The 
Durham  Fencibles  that  were  left  to  cover  this  retreat 
only  waited  till  it  became  dark  to  begin  their  retrograde 
march  unperceived. 

Our  army  had  only  to  make  a  few  fires  at  a  little 
distance  to  shew  the  enemy  we  were  encamped  for  the 
night,  and  a  short  time  after  the  town  would  have  been 
completely  evacuated,  not  only  by  the  English  troops, 
but  by  the  yeomen  and  Orangemen  of  every  description. 

How  melancholy  to  think  a  victory  so  dearly  bought 
should  have  been  abandoned — for  which  no  good  or 
plausible  motive  could  ever  be  assigned.  No  doubt  we 
had  expended  nearly  all  our  ammunition,  but  that  should 
have  served  as  a  sufficient  reason  to  have  brought  all  our 
pikemen  instantly  to  pursue  the  enemy  whilst  in  a  state 
of  disorder  and  panic  struck,  as  they  really  were  that  day 
at  Arklow. 

My  firm  belief  is  to  day,  as  it  was  that  day,  that  if  we 
had  had  no  artillery,  the  battle  would  have  been  won  in 
half  the  time ;  for  we  should  have  attacked  the  position 
of  the  Durham  Fencibles  at  the  very  onset,  with  some 
thousand  determined  pikemen,  in  place  of  leaving  tliose 
valiant  fellows  inactive  to  admire  the  effect  of  each 
cannon  shot.  No  doubt  our  little  artillery  was  admirably 
directed  and  did  wonders,  until  Esmond  Kyan's  wound 
deprived  the  Irish  army  of  this  gallant  man's  services ; 
he  was  in  every  sense  of  the  word  a  real  soldier,  and  a 
true  patriot. 

A  diversion  in  the  rear  of  the  enemy's  line  during 
the  battle  might  have  accelerated  their  retreat  and  have 
thrown  them  into  still  greater  disorder  and  confusion. 
Matthew  Doyle,  of  whom  I  have  already  spoken,  offered 
to  execute  this  diversion,  but  it  was  considered  unneces- 
sary. Of  course  Doyle  and  his  men  betook  themselves 
to  the  front  of  the  fight.  Had  a  house  or  two  been  set 


on  fire  in  the  rear  of  the  enemy,  as  was  the  case  at  the 
battle  of  Enniscorthy,  on  the  28th  of  May  (which 
decided  instantly  the  success  there  in  our  favour),  the 
same  result  would  have  been  obtained  for  us  at  Arklow ; 
for  the  King's  troops,  finding  themselves  attacked  in  their 
rear,  would  begin  to  fly  in  every  direction ;  and  already 
disaffection  was  plainly  seen  in  their  ranks,  and  the  Irish 
private  soldier  had  learned  that  he  would  not  be  badly 
treated  if  he  fell  into  our  hands.  Thus,  had  we  followed 
up  our  victory,  in  a  very  short  time  vast  numbers  of  the 
Irish  would  have  deserted  from  the  English  and  come  to 
join  our  standard  ;  for,  with  the  exception  of  the  Orange- 
men, all  the  Irish  that  were  brought  against  us  only 
waited  a  fit  opportunity  to  abandon  their  tyrants  and 
come  over  to  us ;  and  no  one  knew  this  better  than 
General  Needham.  That  was  the  reason  he  wished  to 
effect  his  retreat  in  time,  before  the  disaffection  became 
general  in  his  army.  But  the  unhappy  destiny  of  poor 
Ireland  would  have  it,  that  we  were  really  ignorant  of  our 
own  strength,  and  did  not  know  how  to  avail  ourselves  of 
the  immense  advantages  we  had  already  acquired ; 
having  the  whole  country  everywhere  through  the  county 
of  Wicklow  favourable  to  us,  by  which  the  King's  forces 
were  obliged  to  pass,  they  never  could  attempt  again 
to  make  another  stand  before  they  reached  Dublin,  and 
our  army  would,  at  every  mile  it  advanced,  be  consider- 
ably augmented  by  those  brave  fellows  who  had  had  to 
take  refuge  in  the  Wicklow  mountains,  and  who  would 
now  sally  forth  to  attack  the  enemy  in  disorder,  retreat- 
ing in  haste  and  confusion  to  escape  from  twenty  thou- 
sand men,  by  whom  they  were  closely  pursued  after 
their  defeat  at  Arklow. 

Nothing  but  the  most  precipitate  march  or  flight 
could  have  saved  any  portion  of  them.  General  Need- 
ham  dreaded  this  desertion ;  of  course  he  apprised  his 
Government  of  his  critical  situation.  The  Government 


had  no  reinforcements  to  send  him  but  Irish  militia 
regiments,  in  whose  loyalty  now  no  confidence  could  be 

The  infernal  Orange  system  and  lodges  which  the 
Government  allowed  to  be  organized  in  all  the  Irish 
militia  regiments,  would  soon  have  had  the  happiest  effect 
for  us,  had  we  but  followed  up  our  victory.  For  all 
those  who  refused  to  take  the  Orange  test,  particularly 
the  Roman  Catholics  of  those  regiments,  only  waited  a 
favourable  occasion  to  escape  from  all  kinds  of  perse- 
cutions and  insults,  which  they  had  daily  to  put  up  with 
from  the  Orange  ringleaders,  who  treated  them  as  vile 
united  rebels,  croppies,  etc. 

No  redress  could  they  expect  from  officers  who  were 
sworn  Orangemen  themselves.  Thus  this  schism  and 
division  was  augmenting  in  every  Irish  militia  regiment, 
and  with  it  insubordination  and  indiscipline,  such  as  was 
never  known  in  any  army  before,  and  which  confirmed 
the  prediction  of  Sir  Ralph  Abercrombie,  when  he 
resigned  the  chief  command  of  this  army  on  the  2Qth  of 
April,  1798,  sooner  than  tarnish  his  military  fame  by 
remaining  to  lead  a  band  of  ruffians  to  scenes  of  cold- 
blooded slaughter  and  desolation.  "  The  English  army," 
he  declared,  "  in  Ireland  was  formidable  to  all  but  the 

Never  before  had  the  English  Government  in  Ireland 
been  so  near  its  total  destruction.  When  Hoche's  ex- 
pedition appeared  on  the  coast  in  1796,  the  Irish  nation 
was  ready  to  avail  itself  of  it  to  throw  off  the  English 
yoke ;  but  now  the  people  found  they  were  adequate  to 
accomplish  this  great  act  themselves  without  foreign  aid. 
What  a  pity  that  there  was  not  some  enterprising  chief 
at  their  head  at  Arklow,  to  have  followed  up  our  victory 
to  the  city  of  Dublin,  where  we  should  have  mustered 
more  than  a  hundred  thousand  in  a  few  days ;  conse- 
quently the  capital  would  have  been  occupied  without 


delay  by  our  forces,  when  a  provisional  government 
would  have  been  organized  and  the  whole  Irish  nation 
called  on  to  proclaim  its  independence.  Then  would 
every  emblem  of  the  cruel  English  Government  have  dis- 
appeared from  the  soil  of  our  beloved  country,  which 
would  once  more  take  its  rank  amongst  the  other  inde- 
pendent states  of  the  earth ! 

My  great  anxiety  to  appreciate  the  result  of  the 
battle,  or  what  might  have  been  the  result  of  our  victory 
at  Arklow,  has  led  me  away  from  our  march  back  to 
Gorey,  but  I  now  resume  the  details  of  this  sad  march. 

Being  masters  of  the  country  all  round  and  of  the 
battle-field,  where  not  an  enemy  was  to  be  seen,  we 
should  have  deserved  the  greatest  blame  had  we  neg- 
lected to  carry  with  us  our  unfortunate  wounded  men. 
For  my  own  part,  I  did  all  in  my  power  to  have  those 
who  were  wounded  near  me  during  the  action  carried 
away  by  their  comrades,  until  the  means  of  transporting 
them  on  cars  could  be  procured,  which  was  difficult  on 
account  of  its  being  now  quite  dark  night.  Had  we,  as 
we  should  have  done,  got  all  the  brave  men  who  were 
killed  in  the  action,  buried,  it  would  have  deprived  Lord 
Mountnorris  and  the  ferocious  Ancient  Britons  of  the 
cannibal  pleasure  they  enjoyed  in  mangling  the  body  and 
roasting  the  heart  of  the  Reverend  Michael  Murphy. 
But  I  shall  not  dwell  on  this  painful  subject,  of  which  so 
much  has  been  published  by  the  bookmakers  of  that 

When  I  reached  Gorey  late  at  night,  I  went  to  see 
about  the  wounded  men  of  my  acquaintance ;  they 
were  placed  on  a  ground  floor  in  the  main  street,  and  as 
yet  their  wounds  were  undressed  One  of  them,  poor 
young  Owen  Bruslaun  took  me  by  the  hand,  when  I 
proposed  to  bring  a  surgeon,  he  told  me  it  was  useless, 
that  he  could  not  recover,  and  in  a  few  minutes  after  he 
expired.  Two  others  died  before  I  left  the  room.  Many 


•of  those  who  were  not  badly  wounded  were  taken  by  their 
friends  to  their  respective  homes,  where  they  were  sure  to 
be  well  taken  care  of  by  the  females  of  their  families. 
A  melancholy  occupation,  no  doubt,  for  the  poor  mothers, 
wives  and  sisters  ;  but  we  had  no  regular  hospitals  as  yet 
organized,  which  was  the  worst  feature  of  our  campaign- 
ing. Not  to  be  left  the  hope  of  being  cured  of  our 
wounds  was  grievous  indeed,  but  what  was  still  worse 
was  the  certainty  of  being  instantly  put  to  death  if  made 
prisoners.  Well,  with  this  gloomy  prospect  before  our 
eyes,  I  think  we  were  more  dauntless  and  more  ready  to 
meet  the  enemy  in  an  open  fight  than  ever ;  and  so  far 
from  desponding  and  remaining  at  Gorey  Hill  on  the 
defensive,  notwithstanding  our  mistaken  retrograde 
movement  from  Arklow,  we  resumed  our  military 
offensive  operations  the  day  after.  Our  losses  in  killed 
and  wounded  were,  no  doubt,  considerable,  and  they  must 
have  been  equally  great  with  the  enemy.  The  numbers 
could  never  be  rightly  ascertained;  we  brought  some 
hundreds  of  wounded  men  away  from  the  field  of  battle, 
and  from  the  night  coming  on,  it  appeared  that  many 
more  were  not  brought  off.  When  those  unfortunate 
men  were  discovered  by  the  enemy  next  day,  they  were 
instantly  slaughtered. 

Esmond  Kyan  and  some  others  of  the  wounded  chiefs 
had  to  go  to  Wexford  to  get  surgical  advice.  Thus 
ended  the  battle  of  Arklow. 


OUR  great  mistake  at  Arklow  of  not  bivouacking  when 
the  enemy  was  in  full  retreat  (for  I  shall  not  call  it 
a  failure,  as  we  gained  the  battle  there),  obliged  us  to 
adopt  a  new  plan ;  it  was  to  endeavour  to  bring  the 
enemy  to  meet  us  in  the  open  field.  This  plan  consisted 
in  changing  frequently  our  camp,  marching  and  counter- 
marching before  the  English  line,  to  try  to  induce  them 
to  quit  their  strongholds  and  come  to  attack  us  in  their 
turn,  that  our  pikemen  might  be  instantly  brought  into 

Our  camp  on  Gorey  Hill  (after  we  returned  from 
Arklow)  became  stationary  there  for  the  loth  and  nth 
of  June,  to  allow  time  to  all  those  who  went  to  visit 
their  families  to  return  and  rejoin  their  respective  corps. 

On  the  1 2th  of  June  our  army  marched  from  Gorey 
and  encamped  the  same  day  on  Limerick  Hill,  from 
which  place  scouting  and  reconnoitring  parties  were  de- 
tached in  the  direction  thought  the  most  likely  to  meet 
with  the  enemy,  who,  by  the  by,  fled  back  whenever  we 
approached  them  and  refused  to  engage  in  combat  with 
our  men. 

The  English  forces  at  Arklow  were  particularly 
cautious  to  avoid  meeting  our  pikemen,  from  whom  they 
had  so  recently  received  a  terrible  specimen  of  the  utility 
and  advantage  of  that  long-handled  weapon,  called  the 
pike,  when  properly  brought  to  bear  upon  the  foe.  The 
garrison  of  Arklow,  however,  took  courage  and  ventured 
to  send  out  several  detachments  into  the  country  and 
neighbourhood  at  some  miles  distant  from  the  town — 
not  to  meet  our  army  in  open  fight,  but  to  murder  in  cold 
blood  all  the  unfortunate  innocent  people  who  were 
found  in  their  houses.  The  Ancient  British  horse  regi- 


merit  accompanied  by  the  yeomen  cavalry  corps,  glutted 
their  ferocious  appetites  in  these  most  monstrous  deeds. 
Even  the  Orange  historian,  Gordon,  is  obliged  to  own 
the  great  extent  and  enormity  of  those  crimes.  He  at 
the  same  time  wishes  to  palliate  them  by  saying  that  the 
insurgents  used  reprisals  at  their  camp.  No  doubt  there 
were  many,  and  it  was  nearly  impossible  it  could  be 
otherwise,  in  the  presence  of  such  vast  numbers  who  had 
had  their  dearest  parents  slaughtered  previous  to  the 
insurrection  by  the  inhuman  magistrates  and  Orange 
yeomanry.  Yet,  notwithstanding,  many  prisoners  were 
saved,  against  whom  the  most  serious  imputations  for 
sanguinary  deeds  could  be  produced.  I  contributed  in 
several  instances  as  much  as  lay  in  my  power  to  have 
those  vile,  ungrateful  fellows  spared,  because  I  thought 
the  spilling  of  blood  in  this  way  could  never  serve  our 
cause.  I  on  one  occasion  in  the  market-house  loft  at 
Gorey  had  influence  enough  to  prevent  the  famous 
magistrate  and  Protestant  minister  Owens  from  being 
killed — one  who  had  made  himself  conspicuous  in 
putting  on  pitch-caps  on  the  unfortunate  people  who 
had  the  misfortune  to  be  brought  before  him,  as  a  justice 
of  the  peace.  When  several  of  those  who  had  been  thus 
tieated  by  this  miserable  bigot  insisted  on  having  him 
put  to  death  forthwith,  I  pointed  out  to  them  how  he 
had  had  his  sufferings  from  a  pitch-cap,  which  had  taken 
all  the  hair  and  skin  from  his  head,  and  that  it  would  not 
be  worth  their  while  to  inflict  on  him  any  other  punish- 
ment ;  besides,  that  he  had  in  consequence  become  silly. 
Owens,  finding  I  had  succeeded  in  dissuading  them  from 
their  design  for  the  moment,  played  his  part  very  well. 
Perceiving  some  young  girls  amongst  those  whom  curio- 
sity brought  to  see  the  prisoners,  he  offered  his  services 
to  marry  any  of  them  who  wished  to  be  joined  in  wed- 
lock to  their  lovers.  A  young  man  and  a  young  girl 
being  very  near  us,  he  advanced  and  put  their  hands 


together,  and  instantly  began  the  ceremony  of  marriage, 
when  the  poor  innocent  girl  gave  a  terrible  scream  and 
ran  away,  which  caused  much  laughter  and  seemingly 
amused  all  present.  Whether  it  was  that  she  did  not 
like  the  young  man,  or  scrupled  being  married  by  a 
Protestant  minister,  I  did  not  learn.  Owens  had  to  show 
himself  at  the  window  of  the  market-house  loft  whenever 
any  of  our  corps  passed  through  the  street.  Fortunately 
for  him,  the  windows  being  very  high  from  the  ground, 
the  pikes  could  not  reach  him.  A  strong  guard  was  con- 
tinually left  at  this  prison  until  the  day  our  army  left 
Gorey  and  marched  to  Limerick  Hill ;  then  Owens  and 
the  other  prisoners  that  were  confined  there  were  sent  off 
to  Wexford,  escorted  by  brave  men  who  did  not  thirst 
for  spilling  human  blood,  and  thereby  escaped  from  the 
reprisals,  which  sooner  or  later  they  might  expect  did 
they  remain  in  Gorey.  What  a  contrast  was  this  humane 
conduct  to  the  ferocious  Hunter  Gowan  and  the  young 
bloodhounds  who  composed  his  corps  of  yeomen 
cavalry ;  these  cowardly  murderers  being  well  aware  of 
what  awaited  them  if  taken  prisoners,  took  good  care  to 
keep  out  of  the  way  of  our  army  and  never  to  risk 
meeting  in  battle  the  friends  of  the  fine  fellows  they  had 
slaughtered  in  cold  blood  previous  to  the  insurrection 
bi  caking  out.  The  father,  however,  of  two  of  those 
young  bloodhounds,  who  had  made  themselves  so  con- 
spicuous in  shooting  poor  Garrett  Fennell,  James  D'Arcy 
and  many  others,  on  the  25th  of  May,  had  the  misfortune 
to  be  taken  prisoner  and  brought  to  our  camp  at 
Limerick  Hill.  John  Thumping  was  his  name  ;  he  lived 
at  Ballygullen  ;  he  was  brother-in-law  to  Hunter  Gowan, 
they  having  married  two  sisters  ;  and  the  brother  of  their 
wives,  Tommy  Norton,  was  the  worthy  companion  of  the 
monster  Hunter  Gowan  in  all  his  cruel  deeds  during  tEIs 
lamentable  period — an  epoch  which,  either  by  history 
or  tradition  must  go  down  to  the  latest  posterity,  remind- 


ing  the  rising  generations  never  to  be  at  rest,  nor  to 
forgive,  until  they  get  completely  rid  of  their  sanguinary 
task-masters,  the  inhuman  English. 

Returning  one  evening  to  our  camp  at  Limerick  Hi1!, 
I  passed  on  the  way  some  men  escorting  a  prisoner 
whom  I  recognized  to  be  John  Thumping ;  I  knew  him 
well  by  sight,  though  I  never  had  spoken  to  him.  I 
feared  the  worst  for  this  unfortunate  man  on  account  of 
his  son's  bad  reputation  and  his  other  infamous  connec- 
tions, such  as  Gowan,  etc.  I  hastened  to  the  camp  to 
communicate  my  apprehensions  to  Ned  Fennell,  whom  I 
met  on  horseback.  He  was  also  just  returning  from  a 
reconnoitring  party,  as  I  was.  This  fine  undaunted 
fellow,  like  every  brave  man,  shuddered  at  the  idea  of 
having  innocent  blood  spilt :  he  perfectly  agreed  with  me 
that  Thumping  should  only  be  made  accountable  for  his 
own  acts  and  not  for  those  of  his  infernal  sons.  We 
both  instantly  rode  back  to  meet  the  escort  that  was 
conducting  the  prisoner  to  the  camp,  when  at  the  bottom 
of  the  hill  we  perceived  a  crowd  of  people  and  a  man 
lying  dead  at  some  distance.  It  was  the  unfortunate 
Thumping,  who  being  met  by  men  who  had  their  fathers 
and  brothers  murdered  by  his  sons  and  Hunter  Gowan, 
instantly  put  him  to  death.  Had  poor  Ned  Fennell 
arrived  a  few  minutes  sooner  he  would  have  saved  the 
unfortunate  man,  as  none  could  claim  a  prior  right  to 
retaliate  than  he  whose  brother  had  been  one  of  the  first 
victims,  having  been  murdered  by  the  young  Thumpings, 
but  not  by  the  father. 

The  winter  after  the  war  terminated,  a  poor  young  lad, 
who  lived  by  his  labour,  having  been  one  of  those  who 
escorted  Thumping  to  the  camp,  was  executed  at  Arklow 
for  his  death.  Mat  Fennell,  the  brother  of  Ned  and 
Garrett,  was  arrested  at  the  same  time ;  probably  his 
youth  saved  him  (for  he  was  only  sixteen)  from  being 
offered  up  as  a  sacrifice  to  appease  the  wrath  of  the 


vindictive  Orangemen  and  cruel  magistrates  of  the 
country  at  that  epoch.  It  is  melancholy  to  have  to 
speak  of  these  sad  reprisals.  I  witnessed  none  at  our 
camp  of  Carrigrew  Hill,  Kilkevin  or  Gorey. 

All  our  manoeuvring  and  exertions  to  induce  General 
Needham  and  the  garrison  of  Arklow  to  come  out  and 
meet  us  in  the  open  field  of  battle,  proved  fruitless ; 
and,  learning  that  General  Loftus  had  quit  Tullow  at  the 
head  of  the  King's  troops  there,  and  was  marching  in 
the  direction  of  Tinahely,  whilst  General  Dundas  with 
his  division  had  arrived  from  Baltinglass  at  Hackets- 
town,  to  co-operate  with  General  Loftus,  we  immediately 
left  our  camp  at  Limerick  Hill  and  marched  to  meet 

On  the  1 5th  of  June  our  advanced  guard  had  some 
smart  skirmishing  with  the  English  forces,  and  after 
driving  them  before  us  and  making  a  number  of  priso- 
ners, we  encamped  at  Mount  Pleasant  on  the  i6th  of 
June,  and  there  prepared  for  battle. 

The  next  morning,  the  i/th,  those  generals  at  the 
head  of  the  English  forces,  Loftus  and  Dundas,  who  had 
marched,  one  from  Tullow  and  the  other  from  Hackets- 
town,  quite  determined  to  attack  our  camp,  and  who  had 
even  boasted  that  we  could  not  resist  them  or  keep  our 
position  for  half  an  hour  at  Mount  Pleasant,  when  they 
approached  in  sight  of  our  army,  and  found  it  in  line  so 
formidably  drawn  up  to  receive  them,  hesitated  and  sud- 
denly halted  their  army  instead  of  coming  to  attack  our 
line  and  begin  the  battle.  Our  generals  seeing  this 
hesitation  of  the  enemy,  ordered  our  brave  fellows  to 
sally  from  the  camp  and  to  commence  the  fight,  which 
was  instantly  executed  with  great  success.  We  forced 
the  King's  troops  to  retire  precipitately  and  to  abandon  a 
large  park  of  cattle,  with  a  quantity  of  provisions  they 
had  following  their  army ;  and  notwithstanding  the  vast 
number  of  the  cavalry  they  had  covering  their  rear, 


we  took  a  great  number  of  prisoners  and  forced  the 
enemy  to  quit  their  first  position  and  to  take  another  on 
a  hill  at  a  great  distance,  from  which  position  they  were 
preparing  to  fall  back  on  Tullow  and  Hacketstown. 
Here,  as  well  as  in  most  other  places  where  we  engaged 
the  enemy,  skill  alone  was  wanting  to  follow  up  the 
King's  troops  to  insure  success.  The  people  had  numbers 
and  courage  enough  to  overthrow  any  force  which  had 
been  sent  against  them,  if  they  had  been  skilfully 

On  this  day  all  our  corps  evinced  the  greatest  courage 
and  quickness  to  march  to  atack  the  enemy,  but  I  must 
mention  one  corps  in  particular  which  proved  to  the 
English  on  this  occasion  that  they  would  have  been  well 
received  by  our  pikemen,  had  they  advanced  to  attack 
our  line,  or  have  waited  in  their  own  to  accept  the 
battle.  I  don't  mean  that  Matthew  Doyle  and  the 
Arklow  men  whom  he  commanded  fought  with  more 
courage  and  displayed  more  intrepidity  than  the  other 
corps  of  our  little  army,  but  this  I  must  say,  that  I  could 
not  help  admiring  the  clever  military  manner  he  kept  his 
men,  manoeuvring,  marching  and  counter-marching  in 
presence  of  the  enemy  Doyle  was  stripped  in  his  shirt, 
a  red  girdle  or  sash  round  his  waist,  an  immense  drawn 
sabre  in  his  hand.  He  was  at  the  head  of  about  two  hun- 
dred fine  fellows,  all  keeping  their  ranks,  as  if  they  had 
been  trained  soldiers  and  strictly  executing  his  com- 
mands. At  one  moment  a  large  corps  of  the  enemy's 
cavalry  came  galloping  on  the  road  under  where  we  were 
drawn  up  and  quite  near  us,  but  before  they  had  time  to 
pass,  Doyle  had  his  men  drawn  up  across  the  road,  at  a 
point  which  formed  an  elbow,  ready  to  meet  them.  The 
cavalry,  on  perceiving  this  formidable  barrier  impeding 
their  passage,  halted  suddenly,  wheeled  about,  and  ran 
away,  which  caused  great  cheering  amongst  our  men, 
who  were  placed  on  an  eminence  near  the  road,  and  by 


this  time  within  pistol  shot  of  the  cavalry,  whilst  they 
were  in  the  act  of  wheeling  about.  Many  of  them  must 
have  been  wounded  from  the  fire  of  our  gunsmen,  which 
was  kept  up  as  long  as  the  enemy  was  within  reach. 
The  enthusiasm  caused  by  this  skirmish  might  have 
been  turned  to  good  account,  for  our  pikemen  were  now 
ready  to  march  against  any  cavalry,  infantry  or  artillery, 
but  it  was  late  in  the  day,  and  the  main  body  of  the 
enemy  was  too  far  off  to  be  reached  before  night.  The 
town  of  Tinahely  afforded  us  very  little  resource.  As  a 
military  position  it  was  not  worth  anything  to  us ;  we 
got,  however,  some  gunpowder,  of  which  we  stood  in  the 
greatest  need,  and  a  few  firearms,  all  in  bad  condition, 
which  had  been  left  by  the  Orangemen  in  the  confusion 
of  their  escape. 

We  were  joined  here  by  many  brave  men  who  had 
been  till  then  hiding  in  the  mountains,  hourly  in  danger 
of  being  discovered  and  shot  if  they  attempted  to  quit 
their  hiding  places. 

It  was  during  the  stay  our  army  made  at  the  camp  of 
Mount  Pleasant,  that  poor  Billy  Byrne  of  Ballymanus,  by 
his  humane  interference,  saved  the  lives  of  several  priso- 
ners, against  whom  charges  of  persecuting  the  people 
were  brought.  Amongst  those  prisoners  was  Thomas 
Dowse,  a  gentleman  farmer  and  grazier,  with  whom 
poor  Byrne  was  on  intimate  terms.  Of  course,  he  used  all 
his  influence  and  succeeded  in  getting  Dowse  put  at 
liberty.  Could  it  be  believed,  that  Dowse's  evidence  on 
Byrne's  trial  at  Wicklow  afterwards,  in  which  he  de- 
clared his  heartfelt  gratitude,  and  said  that  to  Byrne 
alone  he  owed  his  life,  was  the  principal  one  on  which 
the  unfortunate  Billy  Byrne  was  found  guilty  and 
executed  there ;  Byrne's  influence  with  the  insurgents 
showing  he  was  a  rebel  to  the  British  Government. 

At  Mount  Pleasant  Byrne  was  in  his  own  country  and 
neighbourhood,  where  every  one  knew  him  and  loved 


him  and  respected  him ;  it  was  not  extraordinary  that  he 
could  save  persons  against  whom  no  very  serious  crimes 
were  proved  ;  still  this  humane  act  sufficed  with  the  cruel 
ascendancy  men  who  conducted  the  trial  at  Wicklow,  to 
show  that  Byrne  must  have  been  a  chief,  or  he  would  not 
have  had  the  power  to  save  Thomas  Dowse  from  being 
put  to  death.  How  monstrous,  and  how  lamentable  to 
have  so  fine  a  fellow  sacrificed,  to  appease  the  thirst  of 
the  Orange  bloodhounds ! 

Brigade-Major  Fitzgerald  of  General  Hunter's  staff  at 
Wexford,  procured  for  Byrne  a  protection  from  the 
General-in-Chief  of  the  English  forces  there,  on  the  faith 
of  which  protection  he  quitted  the  country  and  came  to 
Dublin  to  join  his  sisters.  There  he  had  been  publicly 
walking  about  for  more  than  a  month  previous  to  his 
arrest,  so  conscious  was  he  of  his  innocence  and  that  he 
had  nothing  to  apprehend;  particularly  as  his  elder 
brother,  Garrett  Byrne,  who  was  one  of  the  principal 
leaders  and  distinguished  generals  of  our  Irish  army,  had 
surrendered  some  time  before  to  Sir  John  Moore,  on 
condition  of  being  allowed  to  quit  the  country  and  ex- 
patriate himself  for  ever.  What  a  pity  that  William 
Byrne  had  not  to  do  with  a  man  like  Sir  John  Moore, 
who  valued  his  own  word  of  honour  and  his  reputation, 
pledged  to  Garrett  Byrne,  more  than  any  flattery  or  re- 
ward he  could  obtain  from  the  Castle  Inquisitors  who 
presided  over  the  destinies  of  the  unfortunate  country  at 
that  memorable  epoch  in  the  city  of  Dublin. 

I  trust  it  may  not  be  thought  presumption  in  me  to 
say  so  much  on  this  sad  subject,  but  though  very  young 
at  the  time,  I  knew  poor  Byrne  too  well  not  to  appreciate 
his  high  mind,  and  the  horror  with  which  he  spoke  of 
crimes  committed  previous  to  and  during  the  insurrec- 
tion. I  dined  beside  him  two  days  before  his  arrest,  at 
the  house  of  my  half-brother,  Edward  Kennedy.  I  came 
from  my  hiding  place  to  meet  him  there,  and  could  not 


help  observing  the  serenity  of  his  manner  and  the  great 
security  he  felt  that  no  danger  could  await  him,  in  con- 
sequence of  the  protection  he  had  obtained. 

Alas !  he  was  soon  cruelly  undeceived  and  taught  that 
no  reliance  could  be  placed  on  the  protection  granted  by 
the  authorisation  of  the  cold-hearted  Lord  Cornwallis,  or 
of  any  of  the  English  tyrants  then  ruling  over  unhappy 

Byrne's  sudden  trial  and  execution  at  Wicklow  caused 
the  most  sorrowful  sensation  throughout  the  country  and 
saddened  the  hearts  of  all  those  to  whom  he  was  person- 
ally known.  He  was  a  perfect  gentleman,  with  the  soun- 
dest understanding.  He  evinced  the  greatest  courage. 
He  was  amiable  and  simple  in  his  manners ;  handsome, 
powerfully  strong  and  well-proportioned;  six  feet  six 
inches  in  height,  about  twenty-four  years  of  age.  Such 
the  ever  to  be  lamented  Billy  Byrne. 

I  must  not  omit  to  mention  the  name  of  a  generous 
high-minded  lady,  who  came  to  our  camp  at  Mount 
Pleasant,  for  the  purpose  of  aiding  and  assisting  Billy 
Byrne  to  get  several  prisoners  liberated.  This  lady  was 
Mrs.  Meagher,  of  Coolalugh,  whose  son-in-law,  Dan 
Kervin,  was  one  of  the  leaders  of  the  county  of  Wicklow 
men,  and  who  distinguished  himself  so  much  at  the  battle 
of  Arklow ;  he  enjoyed  great  influence  in  our  army. 
Mrs.  Meagher  being  a  Miss  Byrne  before  her  marriage, 
and  related  to  the  Ballymanus  family,  and  possessing 
very  graceful  manners,  succeeded  beyond  her  expecta- 
tions in  persuading  even  those  who  had  had  their  dearest 
relations  murdered  by  the  Orangemen,  that  retaliation 
could  not  bring  them  to  life,  and  that  it  would  be  better 
to  show  themselves  generous  and  merciful  on  this  occa- 

I  must  here  mention  how  I  became  connected  with 
Mrs.  Meagher,  and  her  son-in-law,  Dan  Kervin. 
The  latter  married,  about  1795,  my  brother-in-law's 


sister,  Miss  Mary  Doyle,  of  Ballytemple.  I  was  at  their 
wedding,  which  terminated  in  a  melancholy  way.  After 
spending  a  delightful  evening,  just  about  eleven  at  night, 
when  the  young  married  couple  were  retiring  from  the 
supper  table,  the  bride  in  crossing  the  hall  to  go  to  her 
bedroom  fell  dead  on  the  floor.  She  was  leaning  on  my 
sister's  arm  at  the  time.  It  is  needless  to  say  what 
all  felt  that  sad  night,  when  they  were  suddenly  plunged 
from  the  height  of  gaiety  and  mirth  into  such  sorrow. 
The  year  after  this  mournful  event,  Dan  Kervin  mar- 
ried one  of  Mrs.  Meagher's  daughters,  by  whom  he  had 
two  children.  He  was  killed  by  a  cannon-ball  at  the 
battle  of  Vinegar  Hill.  Mrs.  Meagher's  eldest  son,  Peter, 
who  resided  in  Dublin,  and  my  half-brother,  Edward 
Kennedy,  married  two  sisters,  the  Miss  Leonard's,  of 
Meath  Street 

I  mention  the  above  circumstances  to  show  the  oppor- 
tunity I  had  of  knowing  and  ascertaining  all  that  could 
be  hoped  or  expected  of  a  general  rising  in  the  counties 
of  Dublin,  Wicklow,  and  Kildare. 

At  our  camp  at  Mount  Pleasant,  three  men  from  the 
city  of  Dublin,  who  had  escaped  with  difficulty  through 
the  Wicklow  mountains,  joined  us.  They  were  known  to 
Dan  Kervin,  and  they  brought  us  the  sad  tidings  that 
the  Dublin  people  were  completely  disarmed,  their  chiefs 
in  prison,  or  fled  from  the  country,  and  the  brave  Kildare 
men,  who  first  took  the  field,  dispersed  in  every  direc- 
tion ;  and  from  the  newspapers  of  the  month  of  May, 
which  they  gave  to  Garrett  Byrne  and  the  other  chiefs,  we 
learned  that  General  Buonaparte  had  been  named 
Commander-in- Chief  of  the  French  army,  destined  to  in- 
vade both  England  and  Ireland.  This  news,  no  doubt, 
was  gladly  received  at  our  camp.  But  what  a  cruel  de- 
lusion for  the  poor  Irish  to  be  counting  on  any  kind  of 
aid  or  assistance  from  France,  at  the  moment  the  con- 
queror of  Italy  and  his  forty  thousand  men  were  on  their 


way  to  Egypt !  Besides  this  intelligence  only  tended  at 
such  a  moment  to  create  a  difference  of  opinion  between 
the  leaders ;  as  some  of  them  thought  it  would  be  better 
and  wiser  policy  to  wait  for  the  landing  of  the 
French  in  Ireland,  and  not  to  risk  a  general 
battle  before  a  junction  to  co-operate  with  them 
could  be  effected ;  whilst,  on  the  other  hand,  the 
majority  of  the  chiefs  thought  that  to  stand  on 
the  defensive  would  be  attended  with  the  worst  conse- 
quences, not  having  any  strong  places  to  fall  back  on, 
where  our  army  could  defend  itself.  They  resolved, 
therefore,  to  meet  the  enemy  in  the  open  field,  but,  at  the 
same  time,  to  choose  good  military  positions,  where  our 
pikemen  could  be  speedily  brought  into  action ;  and,  in 
consequence  of  this  resolution,  our  army  marched,  on  the 
igth  of  June,  to  Kilcavin  Hill,  and  there  drew  up  in  line 
of  battle,  and,  I  must  say,  the  most  formidable  one  I  had 
yet  seen  since  the  commencement  of  the  war.  Every  one 
was  at  his  post,  and  in  hopes  that  the  generals,  Dundas 
and  Loftus,  with  their  divisions,  would  not  hesitate  to 
come  and  attack  us ;  but,  as  usual,  those  prudent  gene- 
rals kept  at  a  certain  distance,  no  doubt  to  induce  us  to 
quit  our  strong  position  of  Kilcavin  Hill.  Thus,  we  had 
to  move  forward,  to  bring  the  enemy  to  action,  on  the 
direction  of  Carnew,  in  which  town,  though  nearly  all 
burned,  the  English  generals,  now  joined  by  General 
Lake  and  his  staff,  intended  to  establish  their  head- 
quarters. Here  great  skirmishing  between  our  gun-men 
and  the  enemy's  rifle-men  commenced,  and  our  little 
artillery,  that  followed  in  the  rear,  was  brought  to  the 
front,  and  opened  a  smart  cannonade  on  the  enemy. 
This,  with  our  formidable  line  of  pikemen  moving  for- 
ward like  a  wall,  made  the  King's  troops  retrograde. 
They  were  quickly  pursued,  and  the  fighting  continued 
till  night  put  a  stop  to  it.  Our  pikemen  never  before 
showed  a  more  determined  desire  to  make  good  use  of 


their  arms  than  on  this  occasion,  and  had  the  enemy 
accepted  the  battle  from  us  in  our  strong  position  that 
day  on  the  hill,  we  should  have  gained  it  beyond  a  doubt. 
How  lamentable  to  be  engaged  the  whole  day  skirmish- 
ing, without  being  able  to  bring  the  enemy  to  a  general 
action,  where  the  great  mass  of  our  pikemen  would  have 
had  an  opportunity  of  participating  in  it,  and  have  shown 
what  could  be  accomplished  by  brave  men  armed  with 
this  powerful  weapon,  the  pike,  then  the  terror  of  the 
English  troops,  as  well  as  of  the  Orangemen. 

We  had  some  fine  fellows  killed  and  a  great  number 
wounded  during  this  day's  fighting.  My  brother  Hugh 
received  a  ball  through  his  thigh,  and  my  dear  sister,  as 
soon  as  she  heard  of  it,  came  and  had  his  wound  dressed, 
and  remained  with  him  after  she  had  placed  him  on  a 
car,  and  got  a  confidential  man  to  drive  it  in  case  of  being 
obliged  to  march.  It  was  very  fortunate  she  had  all  this 
done  in  my  absence,  otherwise  our  poor  brother  might 
have  been  abandoned  ;  for  I  could  not  have  left  my  post, 
being  then  busily  engaged  with  the  enemy  on  the  road  to 
Carnew,  leading  from  our  camp,  which  post,  with  the 
brave  men  who  remained  with  me,  we  maintained  till 
it  became  dark  and  the  enemy  had  fallen  back  on 

When  we  rejoined  our  camp  on  the  hill,  we  found  it 
was  already  nearly  evacuated,  a  night-march  being  or- 
dered, after  a  council  of  the  principal  chiefs  had  been 
held,  in  consequence  of  despatches  from  the  General-in- 
Chief  of  the  Irish  forces  before  Ross,  in  which  he  stated 
he  could  not  keep  his  position  there,  and  that  he  would 
be  forced  to  fall  back  with  his  corps  of  army  to  cover  the 
town  of  Wexford.  He  recommended  also  to  our  general 
the  necessity  of  concentrating  forthwith  all  their  forces 
at  Vinegar  Hill,  in  order  to  co-operate  with  his  army.  On 
this  latter  subject  a  warm  debate  took  place  in  the  coun- 
cil between  the  chiefs.  Both  Anthony  Perry,  and  all  the 


county  of  Wicklow  leaders,  were  for  making  a  rapid 
march  to  Rathdrum,  thereby  to  intercept  the  communi- 
cation of  the  King's  forces  with  Dublin  through  that 
part  of  the  county  of  Wicklow ;  and  if  this  plan  was  not 
adopted,  to  manoeuvre  and  fight  the  enemy  the  best  way 
we  could  in  the  country  which  we  now  occupied  and 
where  we  were  still  victorious ;  as  neither  the  English 
troops  nor  the  yeomen  we  had  before  us  ventured  to 
come  into  close  contact  with  our  pikemen. 

Either  of  those  plans  executed  would  have  proved  a 
better  diversion  in  favour  of  Wexford  than  our  silly 
march  to  Vinegar  Hill.  But  Edward  Fitzgerald,  who 
deservedly  enjoyed  great  influence  amongst  the  county 
of  Wexford  men,  and  indeed  with  Garrett  Byrne  and 
many  of  the  Wicklow  chiefs  also,  thought  it  more  advis- 
able to  concentrate  the  Irish  forces  at  Vinegar  Hill,  and 
there  fight  a  general  battle.  Unfortunately  this  opinion 
prevailed,  and,  in  consequence,  our  little  army  began  its 
movement  in  the  night  of  the  igth  of  June,  1798,  without 
g  any  obstruction  from  the  enemy,  who  only 
learned  in  the  morning  that  we  had  left  Kilcavin  Hill. 
Finding  that  we  were  not  followed  by  the  King's  troops, 
we  halted  to  repose  for  the  night,  in  the  neighbourhood 
of  Camolin,  Ferns,  etc.,  where  we  procured  some  re- 
freshments for  our  men,  who  were  by  this  time  exceed- 
ingly exhausted  with  hunger  and  fatigue. 

Next  morning,  the  2Oth  of  June,  we  resumed  our  march 
towards  Vinegar  Hill,  very  slowly,  to  give  time  to  the 
stragglers  and  to  those  who  had  to  go  some  distance  to 
seek  something  to  eat,  to  regain  their  respective  corps. 

Our  column  by  this  time  became  greatly  encumbered 
by  vast  numbers  of  poor  women  escaping  with  their 
children  and  everything  valuable  they  could  carry  off 
with  them  from  the  English  army  and  yeomen,  who  were 
devastating  the  whole  country  we  had  left,  going  from 
house  to  house,  shooting  every  sick  or  wounded  man  they 


met,  ravishing  the  women,  etc.  It  would  be  difficult  to 
describe  the  cruel  situation  of  the  unfortunate  females 
who  had  to  remain  in  their  respective  homes,  to  nurse 
and  take  care  of  their  sick  and  wounded  parents,  now 
abandoned  and  left  to  be  butchered  by  the  merciless 
English  soldiery.  The  recollection  of  all  this  makes  me 
shudder  and  blush  with  shame  for  my  country  witness- 
ing the  perpetration  of  those  monstrous  crimes,  and  not 
having  had  the  courage  to  rise  up  en  masse,  and  rather  be 
sacrificed  to  the  last  man,  than  to  lie  prostrate  at  their 
tyrants'  feet,  whilst  they  were  committing  all  these  out- 
rages. It  is,  indeed,  lamentable  to  think  of  all  this.  We 
might  at  any  time  on  the  2Oth  of  June,  have  turned  about 
with  ten  thousand  resolute  pikemen,  and  have  attacked 
the  English  troops  that  were  following  us,  commanded 
by  Generals  Dundas  and  Loftus,  with  a  certainty  of  de- 
feating them  and  of  being  avenged  for  the  cruelties  they 
had  committed  ;  but  no,  it  was  doomed  we  should  muster 
on  Vinegar  Hill,  and  abandon  that  great  extent  of  coun- 
try where  we  had  been  so  successful,  and  thereby  play 
the  game  our  enemies  so  long  desired  to  see  us  play. 

Now,  General  Needham  could  with  safety  move  from 
Arklow,  with  all  the  troops  under  his  command  and  follow 
on  our  left  flank,  whilst  General  Duff  had  nothing  now 
to  impede  his  march  on  our  right  flank,  with  the  forces 
he  had  under  his  orders  at  Newtownbarry,  particularly 
as  he  was  supported  by  General  Johnston,  who  was 
marching  from  Ross,  having  nothing  more  to  fear  on  that 
side,  with  all  the  King's  troops  there,  to  co-operate  in  the 
simultaneous  attack  which  General  Loftus  intended 
making  on  the  town  of  Enniscorthy  and  Vinegar  Hill. 

How  could  our  generals  for  an  instant  think  that 
Vinegar  Hill  was  a  military  position  susceptible  of  de- 
fence for  any  time  without  provisions,  military  stores,  or 
great  guns?  It  stands  high,  no  doubt,  over  the  river 
Slaney  and  the  town  of  Enniscorthy,  which  it  commands  ; 


but  on  the  other  side,  both  artillery  and  cavalry,  as  well 
as  infantry,  can  march  to  the  top  of  the  hill  with  the 
greatest  ease.  But  the  die  of  war  was  cast.  Our  little 
Irish  army  must  be  drawn  up  and  assembled  on  this  hill 
en  masse,  and  there  wait  the  arrival  of  the  English 
army,  now  moving  after  us  from  all  directions,  with  vast 
parks  of  artillery,  well  supplied  with  everything  neces- 
sary for  battle,  whilst  we  had  with  us  but  two  six-poun- 
ders, and  a  small  mortar  or  howitzer,  with  scarcely  a 
round  of  ammunition  for  these  cannons.  The  town  of 
Enniscorthy  had  placed  on  the  hill  a  few  small  one- 
pounders,  which  were  of  very  little  use,  not  having  any 
cartridges  prepared  to  fit  them. 

On  leaving  our  bivouac  the  morning  of  the  2Oth  of 
June,  we  formed  a  tolerably  well  organized  rear-guard  to 
cover  our  column,  which  was  moving  very  slowly,  on 
account  of  being  greatly  encumbered  with  numberless 
carts  and  cars,  conveying  the  families  escaping  from  the 
terrible  devastation  carried  on  throughout  the  country 
we  had  abandoned,  by  the  English  and  the  yeomanry. 

During  this  day's  march  I  several  times  halted  that 
part  of  the  rear-guard  under  my  command,  the  moment 
we  perceived  the  enemy's  cavalry  approaching,  in  order 
to  afford  time  to  our  embarrassed  column  to  advance  and 
get  out  of  the  narrow  passages ;  but  this  cavalry  halted 
also,  when  they  saw  us  drawn  up  en  masse  to  receive 
them,  and  if  any  of  our  cars  were  thrown  across  the  road 
to  impede  their  march,  the  sight  of  those  cars  was  quite 
sufficient  to  make  them  retrograde,  such  was  their  dread 
of  getting  into  an  ambuscade.  So  we  had  scarcely  any 
skirmishing  or  fighting  before  we  arrived  at  the  foot  of 
Vinegar  Hill,  late  in  the  evening.  It  was  dark  ni^ht,  but 
the  thousands  of  little  fires  to  be  seen  in  the  fields  and 
plain  all  round  the  hill,  where  our  people  were  preparing 
to  get  something  to  eat  and  to  pass  the  night,  afforded 
plenty  of  light,  and  presented  at  the  same  time  the 


-appearance  of  a  vast  camp,  or  rather  the  bivouac  of  a 
regular  French  army. 

As  soon  as  I  had  heard  the  dispositions  that  had  been 
ordered  for  the  next  day,  I,  with  all  those  brave  men  who 
had  made  part  of  the  rear-guard  with  me  during  the 
march,  betook  ourselves  to  rest  for  the  night,  not  being 
required  to  do  any  duty,  in  consequence  of  arriving  so 
late.  I  need  not  add  that  we  all  slept  most  soundly,  till 
wakened  by  some  random  gun-shots  about  two  o'clock  in 
the  morning  (the  memorable  2 1st  of  June,  1798)  when 
we  were  informed  that  General  Johnston,  who  had 
marched  from  Ross  with  the  King's  troops  to  attack 
Enniscorthy,  had  had  his  advanced  guard  beat  back  on 
the  2Oth  by  some  of  our  forces,  commanded  by  Mr. 
William  Barker,  of  Enniscorthy,  and  the  Reverend  Moses 
Kearns,  and  that  the  skirmishing  continued  till  night  put 
an  end  to  it,  quite  to  the  advantage  and  satisfaction  of 
those  brave  chiefs. 

We  also  heard  that  the  Irish  army  before  Ross,  com- 
manded by  the  Reverend  Philip  Roche,  General-in- 
Chief,  retreated  from  Lacken  Hill  on  the  ipth  of  June, 
to  the  Three  Rock  Mountain,  and  the  next  day,  the  2Oth 
of  June,  General  Roche  marched  his  army  from  thence  to 
Longraig  or  Foulksmill,  and  there  fought  a  desperate 
battle  against  General  Moore,  who  commanded  the 
King's  troops,  but  the  latter  being  on  the  point  of  being 
joined  by  a  large  reinforcement  just  landed  from  Eng- 
land, General  Roche,  after  fighting  for  four  hours,  re- 
solved to  retire  and  fall  back  once  more  on  Wexford, 
which  retreat  was  effected  with  great  order.  Sir  John 
Moore,  no  doubt,  thought  it  prudent  not  to  risk  another 
battle  before  his  army  was  reinforced,  and  he  was  even 
on  the  point  of  retreating  when  he  learned  that  two 
regiments  were  rapidly  advancing  to  his  support,  and 
then  contented  himself  to  keep  his  ground  and  wait  for 
this  reinforcement. 


All  these  accounts  showed  plainly  that  we  had  no- 
assistance  to  expect  at  Vinegar  Hill  from  this  part  of  our 
Irish  forces,  now  fallen  back  to  cover  the  town  of  Wex- 
ford  ;  and  to  add  to  this  misfortune,  one  of  our  generals, 
Edward  Roache,  who  had  been  the  principal  instigator  of 
the  false  manoeuvre  of  marching  our  army  from  the 
strong  military  position  we  occupied  in  the  county  of 
Wicklow,  to  be  concentrated  at  Enniscorthy  and  Vinegar 
Hill,  and  who  had  made  such  solemn  promises  to 
repair  to  his  own  country,  and  there  oblige  the  thou- 
sands of  men  who  had  been  absent  visiting  their  families 
to  rejoin  forthwith  their  respective  corps,  lost  too  much 
time  by  going  to  Wexford ;  where  he  consulted  with 
those  men  who  thought  that,  through  the  intercession 
and  immediate  interference  of  their  "  noble  "  prisoner, 
Lord  Kingsborough,  with  General  Lake,  General-in- 
Chief  of  the  English  forces,  everything  would  be  ob- 
tained for  the  salvation  of  themselves  and  the  town  of 
Wexford.  They  were  soon  cruelly  undeceived,  and  we 
were  doomed  to  fight  the  battle  of  Vinegar  Hill  in  the 
absence  of  General  Edward  Roche  and  his  brave  division 
of  five  thousand  strong,  and  the  best  marksmen  of  the 
Irish  army. 

In  spite  of  this  defalcation,  we  mustered  nearly  twenty 
thousand  on  the  2ist,  but  not  more  than  from  three  to 
four  thousand  had  fire-arms,  with  a  very  scanty  pro- 
vision of  powder  and  ball ;  whilst  General  Lake  had 
twenty  thousand  regular  English  troops  to  oppose  to  us, 
with  a  vast  park  of  artillery  and  military  stores  of  all 
kinds,  besides  numerous  corps  of  yeomanry  cavalry  well 
equipped  and  armed,  attached  to  each  division  of  his 


OF  JUNE,  1798. 

At  break  of  day  the  different  corps  began  to  quit  their 
bivouacs,  each  to  repair  to  the  position  assigned  to  them 
on  the  hill  and  on  all  the  roads  leading  into  the  town  of 
Enniscorthy.  Our  wounded  men,  that  we  had  trans- 
ported on  cars  with  us  from  the  county  of  Wicklow,  in 
order  to  have  them  placed  in  the  hospital,  we  left  at 
Drumgold,  one  of  the  suburbs  of  the  town  under  Vinegar 
Hill ;  we  had  also  to  leave  there  a  vast  number  of  women 
and  young  girls,  who  had  followed  their  husbands  and 
brothers,  to  escape  from  the  English  monsters  who  were 
devastating  their  homes.  All  this  caused  a  sad  embar- 
rassment, no  doubt,  to  our  column,  but  by  no  means 
damped  the  courage  of  our  men  ;  on  the  contrary,  if  any- 
thing was  required  to  rouse  them  to  deeds  of  valour,  it 
was  this  occasion  to  protect  these  innocent  females,  their 
dearest  ties  to  life.  What  a  heart-breaking  scene  to 
witness  the  separation  which  here  took  place  at  the  dawn 
of  day,  husbands  quitting  their  wives,  brothers  their 
sisters,  never  more  to  meet ! 

Skirmishing  at  all  our  advanced  posts  commenced  with 
the  day ;  however  the  battle  did  not  become  general  on 
the  whole  line  before  seven  o'clock,  but  at  day-break 
several  cannon-shots  were  heard  in  different  directions 
from  the  enemy's  camps.  These  were  signal  guns,  which 
proved  to  us  that  we  were  now  nearly  surrounded  on  all 
sides,  except  the  Wexford  one  which  should  have  been 
occupied  by  General  Needham,  it  was  said,  had  he  fol- 
lowed his  instructions.  This  is  mere  twaddle ;  he  re- 
mained in  the  rear,  in  reserve,  by  the  orders  of  his 
general-in-chief,  Lake,  to  keep  the  road  open  to  Gorey. 
This  prudent  English  general,  who  refused  to  fight  us  at 


Kilcavin  Hill,  did  not  like  to  risk  a  charge  of  our  pike- 
men,  without  having  a  division  in  reserve  to  fall  back  on, 
in  case  of  defeat.  His  powerful  artillery  commenced  a 
tremendous  fire,  which  was  for  some  time  directed  against 
the  summit  of  the  hill,  which  was  considered  our  strong 
position,  where  it  was  thought  our  men  were  massed, 
ready  to  be  brought  into  action.  Our  small  artillery,  in 
answering  the  enemy's  great  guns,  soon  expended  the 
last  round  of  ammunition,  and  to  very  little  effect.  We 
wanted  Esmond  Kyan  here  to  command  it,  as  he  did  at 
the  battle  of  Arklow,  but  unfortunately  this  brave  officer 
had  to  remain  at  Wexford  to  get  his  wound  cured.  To 
remedy  instantly  the  bad  effect  which  the  ceasing  of  our 
artillery  might  produce,  a  large  column  of  chosen  pike- 
men  was  formed,  composed  of  the  county  of  Wicklow 
men,  Monaseed,  Ballyellis,  Gorey  corps,  etc.,  to  attack 
the  enemy's  left  flank,  and,  if  possible,  to  turn  it  and  to 
bring  our  pikemen  into  the  action  ;  which  now  appeared 
the  only  resource  we  could  count  on,  for  our  gun-men 
had  also  nearly  expended  their  scanty  supply  of  ammu- 
nition. As  to  defending  the  intrenchments  that  were 
raised  on  the  hill,  it  would  have  been  quite  ridiculous  to 
have  attempted  it,  they  not  being  more  than  a  couple  of 
feet  high  in  many  parts. 

I  had  not  seen  Vinegar  Hill  since  the  morning  after 
the  battle  of  Newtownbarry,  the  2nd  of  June,  and  I  was 
surprised  to  find  that  scarcely  anything  had  been  done 
to  make  it  formidable  against  the  enemy ;  the  vast 
fences  and  ditches  which  surrounded  it  on  three  sides, 
and  which  should  have  been  levelled  to  the  ground,  for 
at  least  a  cannon  shot,  or  half  a  mile's  distance,  were  all 
left  untouched.  The  English  forces,  availing  themselves 
of  these  defences,  advanced  from  field  to  field,  bringing 
with  them  their  cannon,  which  they  placed  to  great  ad- 
vantage behind  and  under  the  cover  of  the  hedges  and 
fences,  whilst  our  men  were  exposed  to  a  terrible  fire 


from  their  artillery  and  small  arms,  without  being  able 
to  drive  them  back  from  their  strongholds  in  those  fields. 

Several  columns  of  our  pikemen,  however,  were  in- 
stantly brought  to  attack  the  enemy's  formidable  posi- 
tion behind  the  fences  in  the  fields,  and  it  was  in  leading 
on  one  of  those  desperate  charges,  that  the  splendid  Dan 
Kervin  was  killed,  at  the  head  of  the  brave  county  of 
Wicklow  men.  His  death  at  this  moment  was  a  severe 
loss,  though  he  was  soon  replaced  by  a  leader  equally 
brave ;  yet  his  men  could  not  be  easily  roused  from  the 
gloom  cast  over  them  by  this  misfortune ;  besides  many 
fine  fellows,  their  comrades,  fell  at  the  same  moment  be- 
side Kervin.  Indeed,  it  is  a  miracle  how  the  other  chiefs 
escaped;  they  all  displayed  the  greatest  coolness  and 
courage,  charging  at  the  head  of  their  men  under  the 
tremendous  fire  of  the  enemy's  batteries,  which  were 
sending  cannon-ball,  grape-shot,  musket-ball,  as  thickly 
as  a  shower  of  hail  stones. 

A.  Perry,  E.  Fitzgerald,  Garrett  Byrne,  Father  John 
Murphy,  Jemmy  Doyle,  Ned  Fennell,  Nick  Murphy  and 
many  others  whose  names  I  don't  recollect  at  this 
moment,  distinguished  themselves  at  this  memorable 
battle.  I  must  also  mention  the  names  of  some  brave 
men  who  were  killed,  and  with  whom  I  was  well  ac- 
quainted. Two  brave  young  men,  brothers,  Pat  and  Ned 
Headen,  were  killed  beside  one  another.  They  left  a 
widowed  mother.  Their  eldest  brother,  James,  was 
transported.  John  Shehan,  of  Monaseed,  a  young  man 
who  showed  great  courage,  was  killed.  James  Mallow, 
of  Ballylusk,  who  left  a  wife  and  three  children,  fought 
bravely  and  was  killed  at  the  head  of  our  column. 
Thomas  Neill,  of  Armagh,  who  kept  a  general  ware- 
house and  cloth  shop,  an  industrious  worthy  man, 
fell  also ;  his  unhappy  widow,  before  she  could  be 
brought  to  contract  a  second  marriage,  came  to  Dublin 
twelve  month  after  this  epoch,  to  the  place  where  I  was 


hiding,  to  ascertain  from  me  her  husband's  death.  When 
I  satisfied  her  on  the  subject,  she  returned  home  and 
married  Bryan  Reilly,  a  brave  young  man,  who  carried 
on  the  business,  as  her  former  husband  had  done. 

I  had  been  in  many  combats  and  battles,  but  I  never 
before  witnessed  such  a  display  of  bravery  and  intre- 
pidity as  was  shown  all  along  our  line,  for  nearly  two 
hours,  until  our  ammunition  was  expended.  It  was  then 
recommended  by  some  of  our  chiefs  to  assemble  all  our 
forces  and  to  attack  the  enemy's  left  flank,  overturn  it 
and  march  back  to  the  county  of  Wicklow. 

At  the  commencement  of  the  battle,  this  plan  might 
have  been  easily  executed ;  but  would  it  not  have  been 
cruel  and  shameful  thus  to  abandon  the  town  and  the 
brave  fellows  who  were  defending  it  so  heroically  ?  And 
also,  to  abandon  our  wounded  men  and  the  unfortunate 
families  who  had  escaped  and  followed  our  camp  ? 

The  town  of  Enniscorthy  and  its  outlets  were  splen- 
didly defended  by  Mr.  William  Barker  and  Father 
Kearns,  who,  with  the  corps  they  commanded,  were  at 
the  advanced  posts  beyond  the  Duffrey  gate  at  day-light, 
where  they  had  been  skirmishing  the  evening  before 
with  the  English  forces,  under  the  command  of  General 

Mr.  Barker  had  one  four-pounder  mounted  on  a  car, 
which  was  of  little  use,  except  from  the  moral  effect  it 
might  have  had  on  his  men.  His  military  acquirements 
and  the  knowledge  of  tactics,  which  he  had  learned  in 
the  service  of  France,  were  now  of  the  greatest  advan- 
tage, and  turned  to  the  best  account  for  the  defence  of 
the  place  confided  to  his  charge. 

Mr.  Barker  first  began  by  placing  a  strong  guard  in 
reserve  on  the  bridge,  and  then  advanced  with  the  main 
body  to  meet  the  enemy,  having  each  flank  covered  with 
his  gun-men.  In  this  order  of  battle  he  commenced  a 
most  desperate  attack  on  the  enemy's  line  and  kept  his 


ground  until  it  was  perceived  that  our  forces  had  re- 
treated from  the  hill;  still  he  defended  and  disputed 
every  position,  and  held  his  post  on  the  bridge  with  a 
valour  beyond  description,  until  he  lost  his  arm  and 
was  carried  away  from  the  field  of  battle. 

Mr.  Barker  was  surrounded  by  those  brave  Ennis- 
corthy  men,  who  were  ready  to  follow  him  through  thick 
and  thin.  His  loss  from  their  ranks  was  severely  felt  by 
them  ;  at  this  critical  moment  the  undaunted  Kearns  re- 
placed Mr.  Barker  in  the  command,  but  he,  too,  soon  re- 
ceived a  wound  which  deprived  this  division  of  our  army 
of  two  trustworthy  chiefs. 

Now,  the  retreat  from  the  town,  as  well  as  the  hill,  be- 
came inevitable  ;  all  moved  rapidly  towards  the  Wexford 
road,  which  was  not  intercepted  by  the  unrelenting  gene- 
ral-in-chief,  Lake,  who  contented  himself  this  day  with 
occupying  the  town,  and  having  our  sick  and  wounded 
burned  in  the  house  which  served  as  an  hospital.  All 
the  wounded  found  on  the  field  of  battle,  or  in  the  houses, 
were,  by  his  orders,  instantly  put  to  death.  Fortunately 
for  Mr.  Barker,  some  humane  officers  of  the  general's 
staff  quartered  themselves  at  his  house,  which  they  saved 
from  being  burned,  and  they  prevented  the  cruel  Orange- 
men from  shooting  him.  One  of  those  staff  officers  was  a 
surgeon  of  the  English  troops.  This  gentleman  operated 
the  amputation  of  Mr.  Barker's  shattered  arm,  and  care- 
fully dressed  his  wound  for  a  day  or  two.  But  this  kind 
attention  soon  ceased.  By  order  of  the  general-in-chief, 
Mr.  Barker  was  arrested,  and  sent  forthwith  and  lodged 
in  Wexford  jail,  there  to  be  tried  as  a  leader  and  a  gene- 
ral of  the  insurgents,  and,  of  course,  to  be  found  guilty, 
and  as  such  to  be  executed  without  mercy.  He  was 
accompanied  to  his  dismal  prison  by  his  worthy  wife, 
with  her  child  Arthur,  there  to  wait  and  abide  his  trial 
before  a  court-martial,  composed  of  prejudiced  Orange- 
men. It  would  be  difficult  to  give  a  description  of  the 


afflicting  scenes  they  witnessed,  between  the  executions 
taking  place  daily,  and  the  malignant  fever  raging  in  the 
prison.  Mr.  Devereux,  of  Taghmon,  died  of  this  sick- 
ness in  the  next  cell  to  Mr.  Barker's.  He  was  the  father 
of  General  John  Devereux,  since  so  distinguished  in 
fighting  for  the  independence  of  South  America  under 

Mrs.  Barker  lost  no  time  in  informing  her  brother-in- 
law,  Mr.  Arthur  Barker,  of  Waterford,  of  their  great  mis- 
fortune and  sad  situation.  This  gentleman,  who  was  well 
known  to  the  first  people  in  Wexford,  and  who  was  not 
in  any  way  implicated  in  the  insurrection,  came  instantly 
to  his  brother's  assistance.  After  the  greatest  exertions 
he  succeeded  in  having  Mr.  Barker  provisionally  released 
on  account  of  his  bad  state  of  health.  Mr.  Arthur 
Barker,  well  knowing  that  new  charges  would  soon  be 
brought  forward  against  his  brother  William,  hastened 
to  get  him,  his  wife  and  child  conveyed  away  into  some 
safe  hiding  place,  until  a  neutral  ship  could  be  engaged 
to  take  them  aboard.  In  a  short  time  he  found  a  vessel 
ready  to  sail  for  Hamburg,  on  board  of  which  he  had 
his  three  dear  relatives  embarked,  and  took  a  last  fare- 
well of  them,  never  to  meet  again.  After  a  long  and 
stormy  passage,  and  having  narrowly  escaped  being  dis- 
covered by  the  English  cruisers,  Mr.  William  Barker,  with 
his  wife  and  child,  landed  at  the  port  of  Hamburg. 
His  first  care  was  to  inform  the  French  minister 
of  Foreign  Affairs  of  his  arrivel  there,  and  to  pray 
him  to  have  passports  forwarded  for  him  and  his  family 
to  repair  immediately  to  Paris,  etc.,  that  he  would 
wait  at  Altona  for  the  answer.  By  return  of  post  Mr. 
Barker  received  what  he  asked,  and  set  out  instantly  with 
his  family  for  the  French  capital,  and  on  arriving  there 
he  had  an  interview  with  the  Minister  of  Foreign  Affairs, 
who  told  him  to  prepare  in  all  haste  a  memoir  or  state- 
ment of  all  he  knew  of  the  situation  of  Ireland  in  general, 


but  particularly  to  mention  what  he  thought  could  be 
done  for  the  brave  county  of  Wexford  people,  and  to  be 
careful  to  mention  the  best  landing  places  there,  and 
where  the  deepest  water  was  to  be  had  on  the  coast,  etc. 
It  is  needless  to  say  with  what  readiness  Mr.  Barker  com- 
plied with  the  Minister's  injunction.  With  his  perfect 
knowledge  of  the  French  language,  the  memoir  was  soon 
prepared  and  presented  to  the  Minister,  who  assured  him 
that  its  contents  would  be  taken  into  the  most  serious 
consideration  by  the  Government  and  Directory. 

After  this  Mr.  Barker  went  to  reside  at  St.-Germaine- 
en-Laye,  and  having  furnished  to  the  French  Govern- 
ment all  the  information  he  could  recollect  on  the  state 
of  Ireland,  he  left  that  town  and  went  to  live  at  Morlaix 
with  his  family,  to  be  near  Brest,  and  to  be  ready  to 
accompany  the  first  expedition  that  should  sail  from  that 
port  for  his  unfortunate  country.  This  brave  and 
unassuming  officer,  who  had  seen  real  services  in 
France,  and  who  had  made  in  point  of  fortune  and 
otherwise,  such  great  sacrifices  for  Ireland,  might  have 
availed  himself  (as  many  of  his  countrymen  would 
have  done),  of  those  sacrifices  and  services  to  obtain  a 
high  rank  from  the  French  Government.  But  he  asked 
no  other  favour  than  to  be  comprised  in  making  part  of 
any  expedition  destined  for  his  country,  the  independence 
of  which  occupied  all  his  thoughts.  To  see  this  great 
end  achieved,  there  was  no  sacrifice  under  heaven  that 
Mr.  William  Barker  was  not  ready  to  make.  I  met  him 
in  1803  in  the  Irish  legion  at  Morlaix,  for  the  first  time 
from  the  battle  of  Vinegar  Hill,  when  I  learned  from 
him  all  the  details  of  his  sufferings,  and  fortunate  escape 
from  Wexford  jail. 

Mr.  Barker's  timely  arrival  in  Paris  proved  one  thing, 
at  least,  to  the  French  Government,  that  it  was  our  total 
want  of  ammunition,  even  for  the  arms  we  possessed, 
that  caused  our  failure.  What  a  shame  it  was  to  that 


Government  not  to  have  attempted  to  smuggle  arms  and 
powder  and  ball  to  us,  whilst  we  were  masters  of  the  sea- 
coast  round,  from  Ross  to  Arklow,  for  nearly  a  month ; 
had  General  Humbert  landed,  with  his  eleven  hundred 
men,  in  June  instead  of  August,  1798,  he  would  have 
been  joined  by  a  levy  en  masse  from  all  parts  of  Ireland. 
For  such  were  the  persecutions  and  tortures  whicH  the 
people  had  to  endure,  that  they  were  ready  to  avail  them- 
selves of  any  rallying  point  that  offered  to  be  avenged  of 
their  cruel  tyrants. 

Humbert  landed  too  late,  when  our  armies  were  dis- 
persed. Still  had  he  avoided  the  vanity  of  a  general 
action  with  the  English  army,  and  have  marched  with 
his  eight  hundred  remaining  men  into  the  mountains,  he 
could  have  gained  time,  and  probably  his  Government 
would  have  been  induced  to  send  him  a  reinforcement.  I 
recollect  well  when  he  surrendered  to  Lord  Cornwallis, 
that  we  were  still  in  sufficient  force  in  the  mountains  of 
Wicklow  to  have  rallied  the  brave  men  of  that  county, 
as  well  as  those  of  Carlow  and  Wexford,  had  General 
Humbert  had  an  army  capable  of  keeping  the  field  for 
any  time.  The  Irish  soldiers  in  the  English  regiments 
would  have  joined  him  in  thousands,  and  the  Irish  militia 
regiments,  with  the  exception  of  the  Orangemen,  only 
waited  for  a  good  opportunity  to  declare  for  the  inde- 
pendence of  their  country. 

Our  retreat  from  Vinegar  Hill  was  not  so  disastrous  as 
might  have  been  expected,  from  the  powerful  force  of  re- 
gular troops  well  supplied  with  artillery,  which  General 
Lake  had  at  his  disposition  to  send  after  us.  No  doubt, 
the  cruel  slaughter  of  all  those  unarmed  and  helpless 
people  who  were  overtaken  in  the  environs  of  Ennis- 
corthy,  and  for  a  mile  from  the  hill,  was  beyond  all 
description.  Mercy  at  this  moment  was  out  of  the  ques- 
tion ;  there  was  no  instance  of  a  single  person  being 


made  prisoner  on  this  occasion,  all  were  barbarously 
butchered.  But  when  we  once  got  our  rearguard  reor- 
ganized on  the  Wexford  high-road,  we  were  able  to  save 
a  vast  number  of  our  stragglers,  for  then  the  cowardly 
cavalry,  as  usual,  feared  to  approach  and  attack  us. 

We  afterwards  effected  our  retreat  tolerably  well  to 
the  town  of  Wexford.  And  here  our  two  armies  that  had 
separated  on  the  3ist  of  May  at  the  Windmill  Hill,  near 
the  town,  then  flushed  with  victory,  one  to  go  northwards 
to  attack  Gorey  and  Arklow,  the  other  to  go  to  take 
New  Ross,  met  again,  but  unfortunately  under  very 
different  circumstances,  they  being  now  completely  dis- 
mayed and  disheartened  after  our  recent  defeats  ;  and  it 
is  grievous  to  think  that  our  generals  did  not  seem  to 
have  any  preconcerted  plan  of  action  in  the  event  of  such 
disasters  as  we  were  now  experiencing.  This  was  the 
critical  moment,  when  leaders  should  have  shown  that 
energy  of  character  which  would  inspire  their  followers 
\£ould  enthusiasm  and  confidence.  They  should  have 
rallied  and  harangued  their  men,  sworn  anew  never  to 
separate  from  them  until  the  great  end  for  which  they 
took  up  arms  was  accomplished ;  resolved  on  changing 
the  system  of  carrying  on  the  war,  by  avoiding  as  much 
as  possible  general  actions,  or  battles  with  the  enemy, 
and  attacking  only  the  detached  forces  when  success 
was  certain ;  made  regulations  that  it  should  be  con- 
sidered a  crime  and  punishable  for  any  man  to  appear 
in  our  columns  who  had  not  fire-arms,  a  pike,  or  some 
weapon  equivalent;  but  of  all  things  they  should  have 
devised  some  better  method  of  bringing  our  pikemen  to 
charge  the  enemy  en  masse,  and  with  that  impetuosity 
which  no  guns  or  bayonets  could  withstand  for  a 

Long  before  our  corps,  retreating  from  Vinegar  Hill, 
had  time  to  reach  Wexford,  the  town  was  occupied 
by  the  division  under  the  command  of  the  General-in- 


Chief,  the  Reverend  Philip  Roche,  which  had  been  en- 
camped the  night  before  on  the  Three  Rock  Mountain. 
It  is  needless  for  me  to  add  that,  in  consequence  of  this 
occupation,  we  had  nothing  to  expect  in  the  way  of  re- 
freshments on  our  arrival  from  Enniscorthy.  The  greatest 
disorder  and  tumult  seemed  to  reign  all  through  the 

Edward  Hay  and  some  of  the  principal  inhabitants  of 
Wexford  had  the  folly  to  expect  that  because  they  saved 
Lord  Kingsborough  from  being  put  to  death,  and  had 
treated  him  kindly  during  his  imprisonment,  that  they 
could,  through  the  intercession  of  this  notorious  chief  of 
the  inventors  of  pitch-caps  and  other  instruments  of  tor- 
ture, negotiate  a  treaty  of  peace  with  the  general-in- 
chief  of  the  English  forces,  Lake,  and  obtain  from  the 
latter  honourable  terms  for  the  Irish  army.  In  conse- 
quence of  this  sad  delusion,  three  deputations  were  named 
to  be  the  bearers  of  Lord  Kingsborough's  recommenda- 
tion on  the  subject.  They  were  composed  as  follows: 
Edward  Hay  and  Captain  MacManus,  of  the  Antrim 
militia,  whom  we  made  prisoner  at  the  battle  of  Tubber- 
neering.  This  officer  was  taken  out  of  jail  to  accompany 
Mr.  Edward  Hay.  On  the  road  to  Oulard,  where  they 
expected  to  meet  General  Needham,  Mr.  Robert  Carty, 
of  Birchgrove,  and  Lieutenant  Harman,  of  the  North 
Cork  militia,  a  prisoner  also,  went  to  meet  General  Sir 
John  Moore.  Mr.  Thomas  Cloney  and  Captain  O'Hea 
of  the  North  Cork  militia  (the  latter  let  out  of  prison  to 
accompany  Mr.  Cloney),  were  specially  charged  with 
carrying  Lord  Kingsborough's  despatches  and  letters  to 
General  Lake  at  his  headquarters  of  Enniscorthy. 
These  gentlemen  were  thus  three  leaders  of  the  people 
and  three  prisoners  of  ours  set  at  liberty  to  accompany 

Lord  Kingsborough,  no  doubt  desirous  to  escape  from 
prison,  wished  to  be  one  of  the  deputies  himself  to  go  to 


negotiate  for  the  inhabitants  of  Wexford,  with  the  gene- 
ral-in-chief  of  the  English  army  ;  but  it  was  thought  un- 
safe for  his  lordship  to  quit  at  such  a  critical  moment  the 
town  which  was  supposed  to  have  been  surrendered  to 
him  early  that  morning,  many  hours  before  the  result 
of  the  battle  of  Vinegar  Hill  could  be  known  in  Wex- 
ford. Besides,  the  inhabitants  wished  to  keep  him  as  an 
hostage  until  his  promises  to  them  were  fulfilled.  Lord 
Kingsborough  now  saw  plainly  himself  that  there  was 
no  safety  for  him  but  in  the  custody  of  those  humane 
individuals  who  had  already  so  often  saved  his  life  at 
the  great  risk  of  their  own.  He  wisely  kept  out  of  the 
sight  of  the  enraged  people  who  occupied  the  town, 
whilst  waiting  an  answer  to  his  despatches,  sent  by  the 
Wexford  embassy  to  the  English  headquarters  at  Ennis- 
corthy.  But  he  cruelly  deluded  those  credulous  Wexford 
people  by  telling  them  to  count  on  the  clemency  of  the 
unfeeling  General  Lake,  in  the  course  of  whose  military 
career  in  Ireland,  not  a  single  act  of  humanity  did  the 
unfortunate  people  ever  experience  from  him  where  he 
was  in  command 

The  following  is  the  very  laconic  answer  from  General 
Lake  to  Lord  Kingsborough's  entreaties  in  favour  of  the 
Wexford  people. 

Lieutenant-General  Lake  cannot  attend  to  any  terms 
made  by  rebels  in  arms  against  their  Sovereign  ;  whilst 
they  continue  so,  he  must  use  the  force  entrusted  to  him 
with  the  utmost  energy  for  their  destruction.  To  the  de- 
luded multitude  he  promises  pardon,  on  their  delivering 
into  his  hands  their  leaders,  surrendering  their  arms,  and 
returning  with  sincerity  to  their  allegiance. 


Enniscorthy,  June  22nd,  1798. 

Fortunately  for  Lord  Kingsborough  the  town  was 
evacuated  by  our  forces  before  this  answer  arrived; 


otherwise  he  would  probably  have  been  torn  to  pieces 
by  the  deluded  people,  who  had  counted  on  his  great 
influence  for  protection.  How  unfortunate  for  several  of 
our  leaders  that  they  did  not  know  this  answer  sooner ; 
they  would  have  seen  by  it  that  they  had  nothing  to  ex- 
pect from  the  lenity  of  Lake,  and  that  they  should  not 
have  left  the  brave  people  who  were  ready  to  follow 
them  through  all  dangers.  I  am  sorry  to  be  obliged  to 
make  any  allusion  to  those  unhappy  men,  who  showed 
so  much  resignation  and  courage,  mounting  the  scaffold 
to  be  launched  into  eternity ;  but  how  much  better  it 
would  have  been  for  them  to  have  remained  with  those 
brave  fellows  who  kept  the  field  and  never  despaired  of 
success!  The  worst  that  could  happen  would  be  to 
die  fighting  gloriously  against  the  enemies  of  Ireland. 

A  melancholy  inference  may  be  drawn  from  the  kind 
treatment  Lord  Kingsborough  experienced  from  the 
citizens  of  We'xford,  during  his  imprisonment  in  that 
town.  Had  he  been  put  to  death,  or  cruelly  tortured, 
according  to  his  own  fashion,  by  them,  many  of  those 
leaders  who  left  our  ranks,  counting  on  his  intercession, 
would  have  remained  at  the  head  of  their  respective 
corps,  and  they  would  thereby  have  shown  to  their  Eng- 
lish tyrants,  that  a  people  fighting  for  liberty  and  the 
independence  of  their  country,  fully  determined  to  sacri- 
fice everything  for  it,  and  to  persevere  to  the  last  ex- 
tremity, must  finally  succeed.  The  English  Govern- 
ment felt  this  and  knew  well  that  if  the  war  was  pro- 
longed, an  expedition  from  France,  with  a  reinforcement 
to  the  Irish  army,  might  hourly  be  expected,  when  conse- 
quently a  general  rising  would  take  place  throughout 
Ireland.  Lord  Cornwallis  was  therefore  despatched  in 
haste  from  England  to  offer  different  and  better  terms 
to  the  Irish  army  than  those  proposed  by  General  Lake 
at  Enniscorthy.  To  the  intercession  of  the  too  notorious 
flogging,  strangling,  hanging,  Lord  Kingsborough,  not  a 


single  good  measure  or  pardon  could  ever  be  attributed, 
notwithstanding  all  he  owed  to  those  humane  inhabi- 
tants of  Wexford,  who  so  often  saved  his  life  at  the  risk 
of  being  put  to  death  themselves. 

It  was  much  to  be  regretted  that  a  distinguished 
leader,  Thomas  Cloney,  had  been  chosen  as  one  of  the 
deputies  to  go  on  the  very  hopeless  embassy  to  General 
Lake's  headquarters  at  Enniscorthy,  to  seek  for  terms 
for  the  citizens  of  Wexford.  Possessing,  as  Mr.  Cloney 
did,  the  confidence  and  regard  of  a  brave  and  generous 
people,  who  looked  up  to  him  as  their  trustworthy  chief, 
he  should  not  for  a  moment  have  separated  himself  from 
them ;  besides,  his  presence  at  this  momentous  crisis 
was  too  necessary  with  what  we  called  the  Ross  division 
of  the  Irish  army,  when  almost  all  the  other  leaders  of 
that  division  or  corps  of  army,  Bagenal  Harvey,  John 
Hay,  John  Colclough,  etc.,  were  absent,  from  what  motive 
was  best  known  to  themselves.  The  brave  and  un- 
daunted John  Kelly  of  Killan,  whose  courage  and  in- 
trepidity had  been  so  conspicuous  at  the  battle  of  Ross, 
lay  dangerously  ill  of  the  wound  he  received  there. 
Under  these  circumstances,  clergymen,  or  men  like 
Edward  Hay,  whose  presence  at  the  Irish  camp  could 
have  been  dispensed  with,  should  have  been  chosen  to 
go  on  this  silly  mission  to  the  English  general's  head- 
quarters, whilst  brave  leaders,  like  Cloney,  remaining  at 
the  head  of  the  fine  fellows  they  had  the  honour  of  com- 
manding, would  have  proved  to  the  enemy  that  the  Irish 
army  was  still  formidable. 

By  adopting  a  different  plan  of  campaigning,  avoiding 
general  battles,  and  of  all  things  not  seeking  to  defend 
weak  positions  like  Vinegar  Hill,  we  should  be  able 
always  to  outmarch  the  English  infantry  and  defeat 
them  in  detail.  As  to  the  cavalry,  in  a  country  like  Ire- 
land, so  fenced  everywhere  with  hedge-rows  and  ditches, 
there  was  nothing  to  be  feared  Besides,  our  men  began 


to  hold  the  English  cavalry  in  the  greatest  contempt, 
which  was  half  the  battle.  By  following  this  system,  we 
might  have  continued  the  war  with  success  and  with  a 
certainty  that  the  English  army  would  be  every  day 
getting  weaker  from  sickness,  desertion  and  other  cause, 
when  it  was  found  that  we  could  keep  the  field  in  spite 
of  its  manoeuvring  and  destroy  all  the  small  detachments 
sent  to  seek  provisions  through  the  country.  But  to 
accomplish  this  plan  of  campaigning,  the  chiefs  should  be 
the  first  to  show  the  good  example  to  the  brave  men  they 
were  leading  to  victory,  to  be  resolved  never  under  any 
circumstances  to  separate  themselves  from  them  until  a 
final  and  satisfactory  result  could  be  obtained  for  all. 

I  am  persuaded  that  the  brave  Cloney  always  felt 
the  deepest  anguish  that  he  had  accepted  this  fruitless 
mission,  the  execution  of  which  might  have  cost  him 
his  life.  He  never,  however,  after  this  fatal  embassy 
of  the  22nd  of  June,  joined  our  ranks,  nor  took  any  part 
in  the  war  we  were  still  carrying  on  against  our  cruel 
enemies.  His  absence  from  that  division  of  the  Irish 
army  which  fought  so  bravely  against  Sir  John  Moore, 
at  Longraig  on  the  2Oth  of  June,  and  where  he,  Cloney, 
displayed  the  greatest  valour,  was  indeed  severely  felt 
by  all  those  fine  fellows  who  were  accustomed  to  see  at 
their  head,  this  splendid  young  man  then  about  twenty- 
five  years  of  age,  and  six  feet  four  in  height. 

Although  Mr.  Cloney  did  not  any  more  make  part  of 
our  army,  he  could  not  escape  the  wrath  of  the  Wexford 
ascendancy  faction:  he  was  soon  arrested,  imprisoned, 
tried  by  a  court  martial,  and  condemned  to  exile.  He 
returned  to  Ireland  in  1803  and  was  again  arrested  and 
kept  in  Kilmainham  Jail  for  three  years.  My  half- 
brother  Edward  Kennedy,  was  one  of  his  fellow  state 
prisoners  during  that  period ;  they  were  only  liberated 
by  the  Fox  administration  in  1806.  Thus  the  brave 
Cloney's  long  imprisonment,  and  the  many  persecutions 


he  had  to  bear  up  against  for  the  love  of  Ireland  well 
entitle  him  to  hold  a  rank  amongst  the  immortal  Irish 
martyrs  who  suffered  all  kinds  of  torture  and  persecu- 
tion for  the  freedom  and  independence  of  their  beloved 

I  felt  unhappy,  on  the  retreat  from  Vinegar  Hill  to 
Wexford,  not  to  see  many  of  my  friends  and  comrades 
of  the  Monaseed  corps,  Nick  Murphy,  Ned  Fennell, 
Johnny  Doyle,  etc. ;  however,  on  entering  the  town,  I 
heard  that  they  were  already  arrived,  but  the  two  latter 
I  never  saw  more.  Fennell  was  killed  at  the  attack  on 
Hacketstown  a  few  days  afterwards,  and  the  brave 
young  Johnny  Doyle  was  killed  at  the  head  of  a  recon- 
noitring party  the  morning  of  the  battle  and  complete 
defeat  of  the  Ancient  Britons,  at  Ballyellis,  very  near 
his  father's  house.  The  loss  of  those  fine  fellows  was 
severely  felt,  particularly  by  the  Monaseed  corps,  in 
which  they  were  two  of  the  most  distinguished  officers. 

I  also  heard  that  my  poor  brother  Hugh  arrived  safe 
with  the  other  wounded  men  from  Vinegar  Hill,  and 
that  they  were  sent  out  of  town  on  the  road  to  the 
mountain  of  Forth,  or  the  Three  Rock  Mountain, 
where  it  was  said  that  a  camp  would  be  formed  for  the 
night.  Of  course  I  was  very  anxious  to  follow  them 
and  to  repair  to  this  camp,  but  first  I  wished  to  see  some 
of  our  generals  whom  I  understood  were  still  in  town, 
to  ascertain  from  them  what  plan  had  been  decided  on 
for  our  future  operations.  I  was  in  this  perplexed 
situation  surrounded  by  numbers  of  those  brave  men 
from  my  own  neighbourhood,  all  of  whom  looked  up  to 
me  at  this  critical  moment  for  information.  We  marched 
through  different  streets  without  being  able  to  learn 
where  those  generals  could  be  found ;  such  was  the 
great  confusion  which  prevailed,  we  repeatedly  asked 
for  Edward  Fitzgerald,  Garrett  Byrne,  Perry,  Esmond 
Kyan,  Edward  Roche,  etc.,  but  none  could  point  out  to 


us  the  house,  or  houses,  where  they  were.  At  length 
we  came  in  front  of  a  house  where  we  perceived  the 
Catholic  Bishop,  Dr.  Caulfield,  at  a  window,  haranguing1 
a  multitude  of  people  and  imploring  them  to  quit  the 
town  forthwith  and  repair  to  the  camp,  that  the  generals 
were  already  gone  there.  We  were  also  informed  that 
the  three  clergymen,  the  Reverend  Philip  Roche, 
Reverend  W.  Kearns,  and  Father  John  Murphy  were 
gone  to  the  camp.  I  was  delighted  to  learn  that  those 
brave  men  had  escaped.  I  knew  that  Father  Kearns 
was  wounded  defending  Enniscorthy  and  it  was  reported 
that  Father  John  Murphy  was  killed  on  the  hill.  I  was 
doubly  rejoiced  that  he  was  safe,  for  his  energy  of 
character  and  great  coolness  and  decision  in  times  of 
danger  endeared  him  to  all  those  who  served  with  him 
since  the  commencement  of  our  campaign.  How  un- 
feeling, and  uncharitable,  and  unjust  it  is  of  those 
Roman  Catholic  historians  who  have  taken  upon  them 
to  write  of  the  insurrection  of  1798  in  the  county  of 
Wexford,  to  condemn,  and  endeavour  to  tarnish  the 
reputation  of  those  priests  who  fought  so  bravely  at 
the  head  of  the  people,  in  their  efforts  to  expel  the 
common  enemy!  At  the  same  time,  these  timid  histo- 
rians are  obliged  to  allow,  that  those  clergymen  were 
left  no  alternative  but  to  take  the  field,  in  self-defence, 
as  death  and  torture  awaited  them  the  moment  they 
fell  into  the  enemy's  hands.  Were  these  same  vastly 
loyal  historians  asked,  if  the  undaunted  and  noble  part 
which  the  Spanish  priests  took  to  drive  the  French  out 
of  their  country,  during  Napoleon's  most  unjustifiable 
war,  was  not  most  glorious,  and  if  the  monks  and  clergy 
did  not  immortalize  themselves  at  the  siege,  and  the 
unprecedented  defence  of  Saragossa,  I  am  persuaded 
that  they  would  answer  in  the  affirmative,  without 
making  any  allusion  whatever  to  the  Gospel,  as  they 
did  in  the  case  of  the  poor  Irish  priests.  Yet,  the 


mission  of  the  French  soldiers  in  Spain,  was  not  to 
hunt  down  priests,  nor  to  burn  or  desecrate  the  places 
of  worship  belonging  to  the  inhabitants,  but  they  were 
there  as  conquerors,  and  as  such,  though  less  cruel  and 
less  bigoted  than  the  English  in  Ireland,  the  Spaniards 
were  perfectly  right  to  make  every  possible  sacrifice 
until  the  French  were  expelled  from  their  country. 
They  finally  succeeded,  and  the  brave  clergymen  who 
were  killed  in  this  holy  struggle  are  not  spoken  of  by 
the  historians  of  that  epoch  as  having  "deserved  an 
untimely  and  fatal  end."  On  the  contrary,  their  memory 
is  revered  by  all,  and  they  are  considered  as  true  mar- 
tyrs who  died  for  the  independence  of  their  beloved 

I  was  marching  to  join  the  camp  at  the  head  of  those 
brave  men  I  had  just  assembed  in  the  town,  when  my 
nephew,  James  Kennedy,  a  young  lad  of  twelve  years  of 
age,  came  running  up  to  me  in  tears,  and  told  me  his 
step-father  (Mat  Kavanagh),  had  been  killed  by  his 
side  during  the  battle  of  Vinegar  Hill.  Felix  Fornen 
of  Monaseed,  a  tenant  of  ours,  and  a  very  worthy  man, 
was  with  him,  and  had  been  very  kind  to  him  on  the 
retreat.  Fornen  told  me  that  he  felt  so  ill  himself  with 
dysentery,  that  he  was  bent  on  returning  home,  to  join 
his  wife,  even  at  the  risk  of  being  shot  on  the  way,  and 
that  if  I  would  allow  my  nephew  to  go  with  him,  he 
would  take  him  home  to  his  mother  who  lived  near 
where  he  did.  I  consented,  though  I  feared  they  would 
find  great  difficulty  in  making  twenty-five  miles,  on 
account  of  the  state  of  the  country.  Fornen  told  me  he 
intended  to  travel  by  night,  and  to  hide  in  the  day,  and 
he  was  sure  in  this  way,  of  escaping  and  of  bringing 
my  nephew  safe  also.  Fortunately,  they  had  not  to 
travel  by  night,  nor  to  hide  in  the  day,  for  in  a  short  time 
after  I  left  them,  they  fell  in  with  the  division  of  our 
army  that  marched  over  the  bridge  on  the  direction  to 


Gorey.  So  my  dear  mother  heard  in  a  few  days  after, 
from  her  grandson  James  Kennedy,  that  both  my  poor 
brother  Hugh  and  I  were  still  living.  His  wound  was 
getting  better  after  the  ball  was  extracted. 

When  I  marched  out  of  Wexford  to  join  the  camp  at 
the  mountain  of  Forth,  I  thought  all  our  forces  were  to 
assemble  there,  and  it  was  only  when  I  met  Father  John 
Murphy  at  the  council  of  war,  which  we  held  at  night 
at  Sleedagh,  Bargy  Barony,  that  I  learned  that  a  division 
of  our  army  with  some  of  the  principal  chiefs,  Edward 
Fitzgerald,  Garrett  Byrne,  Edward  Roche,  Esmond 
Kyan,  etc.,  had  taken  quite  an  opposite  direction,  crossed 
the  wooden  bridge  and  marched  on  the  road  to  Gorey. 

I  have  already  mentioned  how  General  Edward  Roche 
arrived  at  Vinegar  Hill  with  his  division  of  five  thousand 
men,  too  late  to  take  any  part  in  the  battle  we  fought 
there,  but  both  he  and  his  troops  retreated  back  to 
Wexford  with  us.  As  they  were  less  in  want  of  provisions 
than  the  other  corps  of  our  army,  he  was  able  to  keep 
them  together  encamped  at  the  Windmill  Hill,  near  the 
town,  until  he  and  the  other  chiefs,  who,  as  well  as  Father 
John  Murphy,  were  not  duped  by  the  false  promises  of 
Lord  Kingsborough,  decided  on  assembling  and  rallying 
all  the  men  who  were  dispersed  in  the  town  of  Wexford, 
and  crossing  the  wooden  bridge  forthwith.  I  should  have 
preferred  making  part  of  that  division,  as  it  was  to  pass 
near  our  place  on  its  way  to  the  county  of  Wicklow,  a 
country  by  the  by,  which  we  should  not  have  left,  as 
it  affords  so  many  suitable  positions  for  the  system  of 
warfare  we  were  now  obliged  to  adopt  against  the 

I  had  scarcely  any  acquaintance  amongst  the  inhabi- 
tants of  Wexford ;  I  went,  however,  to  the  house  of  a 
Mrs.  Rosseder,  where  I  expected  to  meet  my  friend  Nick 
Murphy,  she  being  his  cousin.  But  it  was  shut  up,  and 
no  one  appeared  to  be  living  in  it.  Mr.  Murphy's 


mother  was  of  the  family  of  the  Roches  and  nearly- 
related  to  General  Edward  Roche  and  other  families  of 
the  town.  Had  I  met  him,  I  should  have  known  the 
decision  newly  taken  to  cross  the  wooden  bridge  with  a 
division  of  our  forces,  and  consequently  I  should  have 
brought  all  those  brave  fellows  I  rallied  in  the  streets  of 
Wexford  to  join  that  division  and  have  marched  with  it 
to  Pepper  Castle,  where  it  halted  to  pass  the  night. 
I  need  not  say  I  should  have  preferred  acting  with 
those  commanders,  Anthony  Perry,  Esmond  Kyan,  etc., 
whose  brilliant  courage  I  witnessed  at  the  battle  of 
Arklow  and  elsewhere ;  however,  I  was  consoled  to  be 
with  the  Reverend  John  Murphy,  who  did  not  despair 
of  being  able  to  out-manoeuvre  Sir  John  Moore  and  the 
other  English  generals ;  and  for  this  purpose,  in  place 
of  going  to  encamp  on  the  mountain  of  Forth,  he 
marched  into  the  Barony  of  Forth,  and  by  this  circuitous 
march,  he  found  the  route  next  day  quite  open  before 
him,  either  to  move  into  the  counties  of  Carlow  or  Kil- 
kenny, etc. 

As  the  next  chapter  will  contain  all  those  marches,  I 
shall  continue  to  speak  about  Wexford,  and  relate  every 
thing  I  learned  during  my  short  stay  there. 

Much  has  been  said  of  the  massacre  which  took  place 
on  the  bridge  of  Wexford  and  the  nearly  superhuman 
exertions  of  some  of  the  principal  inhabitants  to  save 
Lord  Kingsborough  and  his  fellow  prisoners.  Why  not 
have  kept  them  all  in  the  same  jail  and  under  the  same 
guard?  This  would  have  ensured  equal  safety  to  the 
poor  as  well  as  to  the  rich  and  the  noble.  As  those 
transactions  took  place  before  the  2ist  of  June,  of 
course  I  could  not  have  witnessed  them,  and  have 
only  now  to  state,  that  I  never  knew  one  of  our  leaders, 
or  the  brave  men  who  followed  them,  in  this  war 
of  extermination,  who  did  not  hold  in  the  utmost  horror 
these  abominable  cold-blooded  reprisals.  It  is  true 


many  plans  were  suggested  to  try  to  make  the  English 
generals  desist  from  shooting  their  prisoners,  but  without 
avail.  One  was,  that  every  time  it  was  ascertained  that 
one  of  our  men  had  been  murdered  at  the  English  camp, 
ten  English  prisoners  with  us  should  draw  lots,  two  only 
were  to  be  drawn,  the  first  shot  forthwith,  the  second 
pardoned  and  sent  to  the  English  head-quarters  to 
declare  what  he  had  witnessed,  and  that  if  the  murders 
did  not  cease  at  the  English  camp,  the  most  unheard-of 
retaliation  should  be  executed  in  every  direction  where 
an  English  soldier  could  be  found. 

This  was  the  state  of  the  country  when  the  wily  Lord 
Cornwallis,  then  the  most  competent  judge  of  what  a 
people  driven  to  the  last  desperation  is  capable  of 
accomplishing,  recollecting  America,  arrived  in  Ireland 
to  issue  proclamations,  and  to  offer  protections  to  all 
chiefs  as  well  as  to  their  men.  We  soon  perceived  our 
ranks  thinned  in  consequence  of  those  delusive  protec- 
tions granted  by  England's  Viceroy  or  Lord  Lieutenant. 
His  conduct  at  that  awful  crisis  reminds  me  of  Ibrahim 
Pasha's  in  Greece  or  the  Morea.  When  he  arrived 
there  at  the  head  of  thirty  thousand  Egyptians,  to  recon- 
quer the  Greeks  for  the  emperor  of  the  Turks,  he  too 
issued  proclamations  and  gave  protections  to  all  those 
Greeks  who  returned  to  their  homes,  and  in  a  few  days 
the  villages  became  repeopled.  The  undaunted  Greek 
generals  perceiving  they  were  nearly  abandoned  in  the 
mountains,  soon  hit  on  a  stratagem  to  put  an  end  to 
this  desertion ;  a  desperate  one,  no  doubt.  They  laid 
ambuscades  in  the  neighbourhood  of  those  villages 
where  already  the  Egyptian  soldiers  were  peaceably 
mixing  with  the  inhabitants.  After  a  sufficient  number 
of  those  soldiers  were  caught,  when  night  came  on  they 
were  marched  through  those  villages,  some  put  to  death 
there,  others  were  allowed  to  escape,  after  having  their 
noses  and  ears  cut  off,  to  carry  the  tidings  to  Ibrahim's 


camp  near  Navarino.  This  half-savage,  half-warrior, 
sallied  forth  with  all  his  forces,  burned  and  destroyed 
every  village  and  town  from  Navarino  to  Patrass,  and 
shot  every  woman  and  child  he  found  on  his  way.  He 
could  not  be  persuaded  that  those  unfortunate  inhabi- 
tants did  not  participate  in  these  mutilations  and  mur- 
ders. Consequently,  the  Turkish  justice  was  in  this 
instance  quite  surpassed  by  the  Egyptian  chief.  Until 
this  event,  it  was  well  known,  that  no  person  holding 
this  extraordinary  man's  protection  was  ever  molested, 
if  he  was  not  guilty  of  some  new  fault.  Under  his 
jurisdiction  poor  Billy  Byrne  of  Ballymanus  would  not 
have  been  executed,  for  he  committed  no  crime  after  he 
got  the  protection  of  the  Lord  Lieutenant,  nor  indeed 
before  receiving  it  either.  But  Ibrahim  had  not  had  the 
advantage  of  studying  at  the  "  refined  "  Pitt  and  Castle- 
reagh  school,  as  Lord  Cornwallis  had ;  he  thought  he 
might  be  just  without  endangering  his  holy  religion  or 
the  Turkish  state. 

In  consequence  of  this  monstrous  butchery,  the  camps 
of  the  Greek  generals  in  the  mountains  were  reinforced 
by  all  those  who  were  fortunate  enough  to  escape  the 
Egyptian  scimitar.  These  camps  became  henceforth  the 
only  places  of  shelter  and  safety  for  the  entire  population 
of  the  Morea.  From  this  moment  all  the  world  could  see 
that  though  Ibrahim  had  a  disciplined  army,  he  never 
could  pacify  or  conquer  a  people  capable  of  making  any 
sacrifice  under  heaven  to  shake  off  the  monstrous  Turkish 
yoke.  In  1828  I  marched  through  those  burned  villages, 
being  then  attached  to  the  staff  of  the  French  general-in- 
chief,  who  was  sent  with  an  army  to  drive  both  Turks 
and  Egyptians  from  the  land  of  the  Morea,  and  to  leave 
to  its  heroic  defenders  the  right  to  govern  themselves. 
I  had  an  opportunity  of  learning  all  their  unheard  of 
sufferings  during  this  cruel  and  protracted  war. 

General  Maison  ordered  me  to  remain  with  a  detach- 


ment  of  infantry,  a  few  days  at  Pyrgos  (a  town  which 
had  a  population  of  ten  or  twelve  thousand  before  the 
war),  until  the  unfortunate  inhabitants  had  time  to  return 
from  their  hiding-places.  On  the  fourth  day  the  Greek 
Governor  of  that  province,  Mr.  Ruffa  de  Benneguela, 
told  me  all  were  arrived,  then  amounting  to  about  twelve 
hundred  men,  women  and  children.  The  rest  had 
perished  by  the  sword,  sickness  and  famine.  I  mention 
all  this  to  show  how  dearly  liberty  must  be  bought  when 
there  is  not  a  levy  en  masse  in  the  first  instance  to  crush 
and  annihilate  the  taskmasters  and  cruel  tyrants,  who 
are  in  possession  of  the  strongholds.  Had  a  simul- 
taneous rising  taken  place  in  Ireland  in  the  month  of 
May,  1798,  as  it  had  been  agreed  on  by  the  Irish  Direc- 
tory and  Lord  Edward  Fitzgerald,  what  a  mass  of  misery 
might  have  been  prevented!  Torrents  of  blood  might 
not  then  have  been  shed  in  vain.  Or,  had  even  ten 
counties  of  the  provinces  of  Munster  and  Leinster  com- 
menced the  war  at  the  same  time,  and  with  the  same 
success  as  the  county  of  Wexford,  England  had  then 
no  forces  to  resist  so  powerful  a  mass  of  people  resolved 
to  shake  off  her  yoke. 

It  is  well  known  that  all  the  Irish  militia  regiments 
only  waited  for  this  rising  to  come  flocking  to  our 
standard  of  independence.  The  Orangemen  of  those 
regiments  of  course  would  not  join,  but  without  intending 
it,  they  were  render  ng  as  good  service  ;  as  they  regarded 
all  the  Catholic  soldiers  as  United  Irishmen,  they  never 
ceased  insulting  them,  and  had  them  punished  on  the 
most  trivial  pretexts.  When  a  detachment  of  the 
Wexford  militia  was  made  prisoners  at  Goresbridge, 
or  Newbridge,  on  the  river  Barrow,  on  the  23rd 
of  June,  by  our  forces,  the  Orangemen  of  this 
detachment  were  soon  denounced  by  their  Catholic 
comrades  as  being  the  principal  instigators  of  all 
the  punishments  they  underwent  in  the  regiment,  the 


flogging,  etc.  Seven  of  those  unfortunate  Orangemen 
were  put  to  death  the  same  night,  by  their  own  comrades, 
who  availed  themselves  of  this  opportunity  to  be  revenged 
for  all  the  tortures  they  had  endured  at  the  regiment. 
This  may  serve  as  a  specimen  of  what  the  authorization 
of  organizing  Orange  Lodges  in  all  the  regiments  then 
in  Ireland  was  likely  to  produce. 

We  wanted  an  able  General-in-Chief,  or  in  other  words 
an  honest  dictator,  whose  orders  could  never  be  dis- 
obeyed under  pain  of  death,  as  on  the  prompt  execution 
of  them  depended  the  success  of  our  holy  undertaking. 
To  these  different  and  untoward  contingencies,  and 
to  General  Humbert  and  his  few  French  soldiers  not 
arriving  in  time,  may  in  a  great  measure  be  attributed 
our  failure  in  the  county  of  Wexford. 

If  we  had  had  a  general  commanding  in  Wexford  on 
the  2 1st  of  June,  of  the  stamp  of  the  Greek  generals  I 
have  mentioned,  he  would,  no  doubt,  have  despatched 
Lord  Kingsborough  and  his  fellow  prisoners  to  the 
English  headquarters  with  their  ears  and  noses  cut  off, 
the  moment  he  learned  that  all  our  sick  and  wounded 
were  burned  in  the  hospital  at  Enniscorthy  by  orders  of 
General  Lake.  This  reprisal  and  mutilation  of  the  noble 
Lord  and  his  companions  might  have  served  as  a  warn- 
ing to  the  following  unfortunate  gentlemen  :  Mr.  Bagenal 
Harvey,  Captain  Keogh,  Cornelius  Grogan,  John  Col- 
clough,  Reverend  Philip  Roche,  John  Hay,  Patrick 
Prendergast,  John  Kelly  of  Killan,  etc. ;  it  would  have 
shown  them,  that  away  from  the  people's  camp  they 
could  make  no  terms  for  themselves  or  any  one  else; 
and  by  remaining  with  the  people,  they  would  at  least 
have  saved  the  citizens  of  Wexford  the  hideous  spectacle 
of  their  heads  being  placed  on  pikes  over  the  public 
edifices  of  the  town  and  there  left  to  bleach  and  wither 
into  dust. 

Poor  John  Kelly  of  Killan  was  obliged  to  quit  his 


command  on  account  of  the  desperate  wound  he  received 
at  the  battle  of  New  Ross.  He  was  brought  in  a  car  to 
the  place  of  execution.  He  would  have  stood  by  the 
people  to  the  last. 


AFTER  relating  the  incidents  that  occurred  during  my 
short  stay  at  Wexford,  the  2ist  of  June,  I  resume  the 
account  of  our  march  from  that  town  towards  the  Three 
Rock  Mountain,  where  we  expected  to  encamp  for  the 
night ;  but  before  we  had  made  a  mile  on  the  road,  we 
perceived  that  a  column  of  our  army  was  moving  from 
the  mountain  in  the  direction  of  Johnstown  in  the  barony 
of  Forth.  I  instantly,  with  the  brave  men  who  accom- 
panied me,  changed  our  direction  and  followed  the  move- 
ment of  this  column.  It  being  very  late  in  the  evening, 
and  we  in  the  greatest  need  of  some  kind  of  refreshment 
after  the  fatigues  of  this  memorable  day,  I  ordered  a  short 
halt  at  Johnstown,  near  the  mansion  of  poor  Cornelius 
Grogan.  Here  I  met  a  worthy  man  who  had  known  me 
from  my  childhood,  Mr.  Nash.  This  gentleman  had  been 
agent  to  the  Grogan  family,  and  when  he  came  to  receive 
the  rents  of  the  Castletown  and  Monaseed  estates,  fre- 
quently stopped  at  our  house.  He  desired  an  old  servant 
to  endeavour  to  get  me  something  to  eat,  and  whilst  we 
were  speaking  of  old  and  better  times,  the  poor  woman 
came  back  to  say,  that  she  could  give  nothing  but  a  slice 
of  barley  bread  and  some  sour  milk  I  soon  devoured 
them,  and  found  both  delicious.  Mr.  Nash  told  me  poor 
Grogan  was  very  ill,  and  suffering  from  gout  and  rheu- 
matism. I  took  my  leave  of  him,  and  when  I  thought 
the  men  had  got  all  the  refreshments  the  place  could 
afford,  we  set  out  again  to  join  our  division,  which  had 
halted  to  bivouac  for  the  night  at  a  place  called  Slee- 
dagh  in  the  barony  of  Bargy. 

I  need  not  say  how  happy  I  was  on  arriving  at  this 
camp  to  find  that  my  brother  Hugh,  with  many  other 


wounded  men,  were  all  there,  and  that  they  had  been 
kindly  treated  on  the  way  from  Vinegar  Hill  by  the  men 
who  were  charged  to  escort  them.  But  my  disappoint- 
ment and  dismay  was  very  great  indeed,  when  I  learned 
that  the  principal  division  of  our  little  army  had  crossed 
the  wooden  bridge  at  Wexford  and  directed  its  course  to 
the  county  of  Wicklow,  and  that  almost  all  the  chiefs 
with  whom  I  had  been  accustomed  to  act,  and  who  I 
expected  to  meet  here,  made  part  of  that  division,  such 
as  Anthony  Perry,  Esmond  Kyan,  Ned  Fennell,  Johnny 
Doyle,  Nick  Murphy,  etc.  I  also  regretted  not  to  see 
Edward  Fitzgerald,  Garrett  Byrne,  and  Edward  Roche. 
The  presence  of  these  leaders  at  the  head  of  our  column 
always  inspired  our  brave  fellows  with  a  confidence  that 
they  would  be  well  commanded. 

I  now  felt  that  my  responsibility  became  great  indeed, 
in  consequence  of  this  separation.  As  all  the  men  of 
the  Monaseed  corps,  as  well  as  the  county  of  Wicklow 
men  who  followed  me  here  from  Vinegar  Hill,  looked  to 
me  at  present  as  their  chief,  in  the  absence  of  those 
chiefs  who  marched  with  the  division  on  the  direction  to 
the  county  of  Wicklow,  they  requested  me  to  act  as  such, 
and  added  that  they  would  obey  my  orders.  I  accepted, 
and  promised  to  do  the  best  I  could  in  our  critical 

A  council  of  war  was  held  in  the  night,  at  the  instiga- 
tion of  the  Reverend  Philip  Roche,  who  wished  we 
should  remain  at  this  camp  of  Sleedagh,  until  he  went  to 
Wexford,  where,  he  said,  he  was  certain  to  obtain  a 
cessation  of  arms,  and  good  terms  from  the  English 
general-in-chief,  Lake ;  on  which  the  Reverend  John 
Murphy  declared,  for  his  part,  he  could  have  no  reliance 
on  such  negotiations,  and  he  never  would  advise  any  one 
to  surrender  and  give  up  their  arms.  We  all  loudly 
applauded  this  declaration,  and  added  that  we  were  ready 
to  follow  him  through  thick  and  thin.  Poor  Roche  now 


resolved  to  go  alone  to  the  English  headquarters ;  he 
mounted  his  horse,  and  before  setting  off,  he  desired  to 
know  from  Father  John  Murphy  how  he  was  to  know 
where  to  direct  to  him,  in  the  event  of  obtaining  the 
good  terms  he  expected.  Murphy  replied :  "  You  will 
have  no  difficulty  to  learn  the  direction  our  little  army 
will  take,  for  everywhere  that  we  pass  we  shall  burn  all 
the  isolated  slated  houses  which  might  serve  as  a  refuge 
to  the  enemy."  These  were  the  last  words  they  ever 
exchanged.  I  was  quite  close  to  them  at  the  time,  it 
was  now  near  daylight ;  the  Reverend  P.  Roche  rode  off 
to  Wexford,  whilst  we  were  preparing  to  quit  our 
bivouac.  What  a  sad  instance  of  the  frailty  and  weak- 
ness of  human  nature  in  this  man,  so  brave  on  the  field  of 
battle  the  day  before,  at  the  head  of  fifteen  thousand 
men,  though  badly  armed ;  had  he  remained  at  his  post 
as  general,  and  not  have  placed  any  faith  in  the  insidious 
promises  of  the  vile  Lord  Kingsborough,  he  would  have 
thereby  enabled  us  by  his  military  genius  and  imposing 
manners  to  have  prolonged  the  war  until  ammunition 
came  from  France ;  all  of  which  we  hourly  expected. 

Poor  Roche  was  very  handsome  and  more  than  six 
feet  high.  He  enjoyed  considerable  influence,  particu- 
larly over  those  brave  men  he  commanded  at  Foulksmill ; 
and  his  able  retreat  to  the  Three  Rock  Mountain  after 
that  battle,  did  him  the  greatest  honour.  For  he  only 
left  the  field  of  action  at  the  very  last,  when  he  was 
assured  that  all  the  wounded  men  were  sent  away  and 

From  his  camp  at  the  Three  Rock  Mountain,  he  im- 
mediately repaired  to  the  council  room  at  Wexford, 
where  he  insisted  all  should  be  stationary  until  the  result 
of  the  negotiation  with  General  Lake  could  be  known. 
Unfortunately  this  declaration  did  the  greatest  injury,  as 
many  fine  fighting  fellows  went  to  their  homes,  whilst 
waiting  an  answer  from  the  delegates  which  were  sent 


to  the  English  headquarters  at  Enniscorthy ;  and  conse- 
quently, these  brave  men,  learning  the  cruel  treatment 
their  general  received,  never  rejoined  our  army  again. 
Poor  Father  Roche  thought  that  because  he  had  been 
humane  himself  and  had  saved  the  lives  of  the  enemy 
in  every  instance  where  he  had  influence,  that  he  had 
nothing  to  risk  in  meeting  the  bloody  and  implacable 
ascendancy,  again  in  possession  of  Wexford  ;  but  he  was 
soon  cruelly  undeceived.  On  entering  the  town  he  was 
torn  from  his  horse  and  ignominiously  dragged  through 
the  streets  to  the  scaffold.  He  deserved  a  better  fate. 

I  should  have  mentioned  before,  that  the  Reverend 
Moses  Kearns,  suffering  from  the  wound  he  got  at 
Enniscorthy,  and  by  great  loss  of  blood,  became  so  weak 
that  he  was  obliged  to  remain  behind  at  a  farmer's  house 
on  the  way  from  Wexford.  This  brave  chief's  absence 
at  so  critical  a  moment  was  another  severe  loss.  Like 
Father  John  Murphy,  he  would  not  have  been  deceived 
by  the  false  promises  of  the  vile  Lord  Kingsborough, 
nor  would  he  have  abandoned  the  brave  men  whom  he 
had  the  honour  to  command. 

Bagenal  Harvey,  John  Colclough,  and  John  Hay  with 
other  leaders  remaining  behind  at  Wexford,  counting  on 
the  treaty  which  Lord  Kingsborough  had  made  in  their 
favour  with  General  Lake,  the  Reverend  John  Murphy 
now  became  the  principal  chief  of  our  very  small  corps 
of  army  at  Sleedagh  bivouac. 

On  the  morning  of  the  22nd  of  June  it  did  not  amount 
to  more  than  five  or  six  thousand  men2  and  I  doubt  even 
if  we  could  have  mustered  so  strong.  Still,  had  the 
then  Governor  of  Wexford,  Captain  Matthew  Keogh 
been  actuated  with  the  same  desperate  spirit  which  fired 
the  Russian  Governor  at  Moscow,  and  sacrificed  Lord 
Kingsborough,  our  ranks  instead  of  being  thinner,  would 
have  been  swelled  beyond  anything  we  experienced 
since  the  commencement  of  the  war.  It  was  doomed 


otherwise.  Intrigue  carried  the  day  with  the  weak 
leaders  of  the  people,  who  remained  behind  in  the  town 
of  Wexford. 

At  daylight  we  left  our  bivouac  and  formed  the 
column  for  marching,  greatly  encumbered,  as  usual,  with 
our  wounded  and  vast  numbers  of  females,  who  were 
following  their  brothers,  or  other  relatives,  not  having 
any  place  of  refuge,  or  other  means  of  escaping  from  the 
monsters  then  ravaging  their  homes. 

We  moved  on  the  direction  of  Foulksmill  and  Long- 
graig,  where  the  battle  was  fought  on  the  2Oth,  against 
General  Sir  John  Moore,  and  where  the  unfortunate 
Reverend  Philip  Roche  showed  so  much  generalship,  and 
also  where  Thomas  Cloney  and  many  other  fine  fellows 
displayed  the  greatest  talent  and  bravery.  This  field 
of  battle  was  a  dismal  sight ;  mangled  bodies  lying  still 
unburied  all  around ;  broken  carts  and  waggons  strewed 
over  the  field  and  on  the  adjacent  roads.  However,  these 
obstacles  did  not  stop  our  march. 

As  the  English  general,  Moore,  after  the  battle  of  the 
2Oth  at  Foulksmill,  retreated  on  Taghmon,  he  marched 
from  thence  to  Wexford  on  the  22nd  of  June,  when  he 
had  learned  that  the  Irish  army  had  evacuated  the  town  ; 
so  that  our  small  division  marched  in  his  rear  and  passed 
over  the  country  which  he  had  abandoned.  By  this 
manoeuvre  and  circuitous  march,  we  were  enabled  to 
bend  our  course  into  the  counties  of  Carlow,  Kilkenny, 
etc.,  and,  as  usual,  the  cowardly  cavalry  fled  before  us ; 
so  we  had  very  little  skirmishing  with  them  before  we 
reached  Killan,  the  town  that  gave  birth  to  the  brave 
and  ever  to  be  regretted  John  Kelly. 

From  this  place  we  pursued  the  enemy  closely  until 
we  came  up  with  them  at  the  village  of  Killedmond  on 
the  county  of  Carlow  side  of  the  boundary,  where  they 
seemed  to  be  in  great  force,  having  been  joined  there  by 
a  reinforcement.  Of  course  they  prepared  to  dispute  the 


passage  and  give  us  battle  ;  but  we  soon  became  masters 
of  the  village  and  drove  both  the  infantry  and  cavalry 
from  it,  as  in  this  instance  our  pikemen  were  brought  to 
bear  on  them  in  the  street,  though  not  till  they  had  set 
fire  to  several  houses  before  they  fled.  The  barracks 
they  occupied  being  a  slated  house,  Father  John  Murphy 
ordered  it  to  be  burned. 

By  this  time  our  small  army  was  quite  exhausted, 
from  so  long  and  so  fatiguing  a  march,  and  stood  much 
in  need  both  of  refreshments  and  sleep.  We  bivouacked 
not  far  from  this  village  for  the  night  of  the  22nd  ot 
June,  and  early  next  morning,  the  23rd,  hearing  that 
there  was  a  regular  force  of  cavalry  and  infantry 
stationed  at  the  little  town  of  Goresbridge,  to  defend  the 
passage  there  of  the  river  Barrow,  we  left  our  bivouac 
in  the  highest  spirits,  and  marched  to  attack  this  post 
Coming  near  the  town  we  were  met  by  the  Fourth 
Dragoon  Guards,  and  after  a  short  skirmish  we  forced 
them  to  retreat  and  fall  back  on  their  infantry,  the 
Wexford  militia,  which  began  a  brisk  fire,  and  a  smart 
engagement  ensued,  during  which  we  had  several 
wounded.  But  now,  whether  from  a  fear  of  disaffection 
in  his  troops,  or  a  terror  of  another  kind,  the  commanding 
officer  of  the  militia  hastened  to  mount  behind  a  dragoon 
soldier,  galloped  away,  and  left  his  men  to  do  the  best 
they  could.  Abandoned  by  their  officer,  who  did  not 
endeavour  to  effect  his  retreat  in  time  with  them,  their 
fire  soon  ceased,  when  they  were  surrounded  and  made 
prisoners.  No  doubt,  the  officer  knowing  that  the 
greater  number  of  his  soldiers  were  Catholics,  and  sus- 
pecting they  were  inclined  to  join  our  ranks,  hastened 
to  escape,  lest  they  might  bring  him  by  force  with  them. 
This  is  the  only  apology  that  can  be  offered  on  the 
occasion  for  his  conduct.  It  was,  however,  well  ascer- 
tained through  the  English  army  then  in  Ireland,  that 
the  great  mass  of  the  Roman  Catholic  soldiers  were  pre- 


disposed  to  come  over  to  join  our  standard,  but  par- 
ticularly so,  those  of  the  Irish  militia  regiments.  Indeed 
it  was  not  only  the  Catholics,  but  all  the  Dissenters  of 
the  militia  regiments,  who  wished  to  see  Ireland  indepen- 
dent and  self-governed.  They  waited  with  impatience 
for  a  French  army,  round  which  they  would  have  rallied 
without  hesitation ;  as,  according  to  a  prophecy  they 
had  in  the  north,  nothing  could  be  accomplished  before 
French  aid  arrived.  I  had  proofs  of  the  strong  and 
implicit  faith  they  had  in  this  prophecy.  I  was  in  the 
Wicklow  mountains  at  the  time  General  Humbert  landed 
in  Ireland.  Some  days  after  this  was  known,  a  sergeant 
and  about  twenty  men  of  the  Antrim  militia  regiment 
then  stationed  at  Arklow  came  to  join  us.  I  asked  the 
sergeant  why  he  did  not  come  sooner ;  he  replied,  that 
the  prophecy  in  which  he  believed,  said,  nothing  could 
be  done  before  the  French  landed ;  and  that  that  was 
the  reason  why  he  did  not  come  and  join  our  army  when 
we  were  in  greater  force.  He  was  a  Presbyterian  in 
religion,  and  one  of  the  best  conducted  young  men  that 
could  be.  He  began  immediately  to  drill  our  men.  He 
was  an  excellent  instructor,  and  if  we  had  had  at  the 
commencement  several  like  him,  they  would  have  ren- 
dered vast  service.  I  shall  have  often  to  speak  of  this 
sergeant  when  I  come  to  relate  what  I  witnessed  during 
the  autumn  and  winter  of  1798,  in  the  Wicklow  moun- 
tains. We  called  him  Antrim  John,  and  we  considered 
him  a  great  acquisition  to  our  cause  at  that  critical 

After  we  took  possession  of  the  little  town  of  Geres- 
bridge,  where  we  got  a  good  quantity  of  flour,  we 
marched  to  the  ridge  of  Leinster  and  encamped  there 
that  night.  Fires  were  lighted  immediately  through  the 
camp,  and  all  the  young  women  who  were  following 
their  relations  betook  themselves  to  making  bread,  or 
slim  cakes,  the  best  way  they  could  of  the  sacks  of  flour 


which  were  brought  to  the  bivouac.  This,  with  a 
number  of  sheep  killed,  sufficed  at  least  for  that  day 
to  give  every  one  something  to  eat.  Our  wounded  men 
were  conveyed  to  the  camp  and  good  care  taken  of  them. 
Though  my  poor  brother  Hugh's  wound  was  getting 
better,  still  he  had  to  remain  on  the  car,  fearing  to  inflame 
his  thigh  if  he  attempted  to  walk  I  was  obliged  tc  place 
on  the  same  car  with  him,  poor  Jacob  Byrne  of  Bally- 
ellis,  who  was  wounded  this  day ;  the  ball  entered  under 
his  hip  and  passed  right  through  to  his  other  side.  I 
thought  it  impossible  he  could  ever  recover  from  this 
desperate  wound  A  young  man  whom  I  did  not  know, 
seeing  me  very  anxious  about  Byrne,  told  me  he  had 
studied  surgery,  and  that  if  I  would  allow  him,  he  would 
dress  the  wound.  Of  course  I  accepted  his  kind  offer, 
although  I  did  not  approve  of  the  manner  he  intended 
to  operate ;  but  the  case  being,  as  I  thought,  hopeless, 
I  let  him  try  his  hand.  The  dressing  consisted  simply 
of  a  band  of  linen,  about  two  inches  wide  and  a  couple 
of  yards  long,  and  when  this  bandage  was  well  steeped 
in  whiskey,  he  fastened  one  end  of  it  to  a  slight  ratan 
and  passed  it  through  the  wound,  withdrawing  the 
ratan  and  leaving  the  linen  in  the  wound,  with  injunc- 
tions not  to  pull  it  out ;  he  said  that  suppuration  would 
be  kept  up  by  leaving  it  in,  and  as  the  wound  healed 
it  would  emit  all  strange  bodies.  Poor  Byrne  suffered 
this  rough  operation  with  great  resignation.  I  had  him 
again  placed  on  the  car  with  my  brother,  and  charged 
the  trustworthy  man  who  drove  the  horse  to  be  attentive 
to  both,  and  to  be  always  on  the  alert  and  ready  to 
follow  our  column  when  it  set  out  to  march. 

It  will  be  seen  before  the  end  of  my  narrative,  the 
wonderful  escape  this  brave  man  Byrne  had,  and  this  is 
the  reason  I  give  the  above  details  regarding  the  dressing 
of  his  wound.  They  show  the  scanty  means  we  pos- 
sessed of  being  useful  to  unfortunate  men  in  his- 


As  the  country  people  were  so  terror  stricken  about 
the  neighbourhood  of  the  ridge  of  Leinster,  that  they 
were  not  able  to  give  us  any  information  respecting  the 
enemy's  positions,  we  had  to  send  reconnoitring  parties 
in  all  directions.  After  their  return  we  betook  ourselves 
to  rest,  and  passed  a  few  hours  tolerably  well.  At  day- 
light we  were  again  under  arms  and  marching  to  Castle- 
comer.  By  this  manoeuvre  we  afforded  a  safe  occasion 
to  the  vast  number  of  colliers  who  were  waiting  our 
arrival,  to  quit  their  hiding  places  and  to  come  and  join 
our  standard. 

On  quitting  our  bivouac,  a  sad  spectacle  was  offered 
to  our  view.  A  cruel  and  foul  deed  was  committed 
during  the  night.  Several  of  the  prisoners  belonging  to 
the  Wexford  militia  were  put  to  death  by  their  own  com- 
rades, who,  having  met  in  our  army  many  of  their  rela- 
tives, had  been  put  at  liberty.  They  of  course  joined  our 
ranks  and  changed  immediately  their  uniforms  for 
coloured  clothes.  Thus  metamorphosed  they  perpetrated 
these  cold-blooded  murders,  which  every  brave  man  must 
execrate.  One  of  these  militia  soldiers,  named  Bruslaur, 
was  the  prime  instigator  of  this  horrible  and  coward 
revenge.  It  appeared  that  he  had  been  cruelly  punished 
and  flogged,  for  being  an  United  Irishman,  on  the 
evidence  sworn  against  him  by  those  unfortunate  men. 
He,  of  course,  said  in  his  defence,  that  they  were  all 
sworn  Orangemen,  and  did  everything  in  their  power  to 
have  him  and  his  fellow  Catholic  soldiers  put  to  death. 
Let  that  be  as  it  may,  it  was  but  too  true  that  the  in- 
famous Orange  system  was  encouraged  and  sanctioned 
by  all  the  Protestant  officers  of  those  Irish  militia 

It  was  about  half-past  two  o'clock  in  the  morning  of 
the  24th  of  June,  when  we  set  out  in  good  marching 
order,  and  before  five  o'clock  we  arrived  at  the  village  of 
Dunain,  where  we  were  immediately  joined  by  vast 


numbers  of  colliers,  the  most  determined  looking  fighting 
fellows  I  ever  beheld ;  badly  armed,  no  doubt,  with  old 
rusty  swords  and  pistols,  but  well  disposed  to  make  use 
of  them,  and  to  exchange  them  for  better  fire-arms  when 
an  occasion  offered. 

A  battalion  of  the  Waterford  militia  which  had  been 
stationed  at  the  Colliery,  or  village  of  Dunain,  about 
three  or  four  hundred  strong,  at  our  approach  abandoned 
the  place  and  retreated  on  the  town  of  Castlecomer.  I 
was  riding  beside  Father  John  Murphy  at  the  head  of  our 
column,  entering  this  village  of  Dunain,  when  we  saw  the 
great  masses  coming  to  join  us.  He  at  once  decided 
that  I  should  proceed  on  the  high  road  with  a  part  of  our 
forces,  whilst  he  would  march  himself  under  the  guidance 
of  the  colliers  and  with  the  remainder  of  our  troops,  by 
another  way  to  attack  Castlecomer. 

The  column  halted  for  a  few  minutes  only.  I  had  a 
very  fine  horse,  that  my  men  brought  me  the  day  before  ; 
he  being  now  foundered  for  the  want  of  a  fore  shoe,  I 
went  to  the  first  'blacksmith's  forge  I  perceived,  and 
asked  the  smith  if  he  would  have  the  goodness  to  put  on 
a  shoe  on  my  horse ;  he  replied  he  could  not  then  light 
a  fire,  that  he  was  just  come  from  his  hiding-place,  and 
besides,  he  was  in  too  great  haste  to  march  and  fight 
along  with  us.  However,  when  I  showed  him  that  I  had 
the  horse  shoe,  he  searched  and  found  as  many  nails  as 
were  necessary,  and  soon  tacked  it  on.  I  asked  a  woman 
who  was  standing  at  the  door  to  be  good  enough  to 
give  me  a  glass  of  water,  but  the  smith  ordered  her  to 
bring  me  a  glass  of  good  beer,  and  a  crust  of  bread.  This 
brave  fellow  seemed  quite  displeased  with  me  at  offering 
to  pay  him  for  the  little  service  he  had  rendered  me ; 
as  he  supposed  I  was  a  chief  and  that  we  were  going  to 
fight  in  the  same  cause,  he  thought  it  was  the  least  he 
could  do.  I  galloped  off,  and  I  soon  got  again  to  the 
head  of  our  column,  which  was  drawn  up  and  halted  on 


the  great  road  to  Castlecomer.  At  some  distance  from 
thence,  a  detachment  of  the  English  forces  was  also 
drawn  up  on  the  righ  road.  They  appeared  to  be  about 
sixty  or  seventy  in  number.  Our  men  told  me  that  they 
thought  these  English  soldiers  wished  to  come  and  join 
us,  or  at  least  to  surrender  ;  that  they  had  hoisted  a  white 
handkerchief,  etc.  I  instantly  resolved  to  ride  on  and  see 
if  they  wished  to  surrender,  and  to  offer  them  all  the  pro- 
tection and  security  they  should  require,  on  the  event  of 
their  laying  down  their  arms. 

I  told  our  men  to  be  careful  not  to  fire  a  shot,  and  to 
be  prepared  to  receive  these  English  soldiers  kindly  ;  and 
if  they  marched  back  with  me,  to  open  right  and  left 
and  let  them  pass  to  the  rear  of  our  column.  I  then  rode 
off,  and  when  I  arrived  at  the  detachment  I  found  it  was 
a  company  of  the  Waterford  militia  ;  two  officers  on  foot 
belonging  to  it  came  to  me  and  stood  on  each  side  of  me, 
whilst  one  of  their  soldiers  held  the  reins  of  my  bridle. 

These  officers  told  me  that  they  made  part  of  the  rear- 
guard of  their  forces,  retreating  from  the  Colliery,  and 
now,  seeing  that  they  were  not  only  outflanked,  but  com- 
pletely cut  off  from  their  regiment,  if  they  were  sure  of 
being  treated  as  prisoners  of  war,  they  would  surrender. 
I  assured  them  that  orders  were  given  before  I  left  our 
column,  that  the  first  men  who  should  attempt  to  molest 
them,  would  be  instantly  shot.  I  further  pledged  myself 
to  risk  my  own  life  in  every  instance  to  save  theirs.  All 
was  now  agreed  on  between  us ;  these  soldiers  marching- 
with  the  butt  end  of  their  muskets  in  the  air,  and  thus  to 
pass  through  our  column  to  the  rear,  when  they  would 
have  to  give  up  all  their  arms  and  ammunition. 

Unfortunately  one  of  our  men,  of  the  name  of  Doyle, 
coming  through  the  fields,  and  knowing  nothing  of  the 
capitulation,  seeing  me,  as  he  thought,  a  prisoner,  leaped 
into  the  road,  and  drove  his  pike  into  the  soldier  who  was 
holding  my  horse ;  on  which,  one  of  the  officers  ordered 


his  men  to  fire,  and  the  other  discharged  his  pistol  at  me. 
My  horse  received  a  ball  in  the  shoulder.  They  fired 
only  a  few  shots,  when  they  turned  about  and  began  to 
escape  the  best  way  they  could,  throwing  away  accoutre- 
ments, arms,  etc.,  to  be  able  to  run  the  quicker.  Many  of 
them  were,  however,  overtaken  before  they  got  to  Castle- 
comer,  and  the  few  who  did  escape  over  the  bridge  got 
into  Lady  Anne  Butler's  house,  which  was  already 
occupied  by  the  English  troops  whom  Father  John 
Murphy  had  beaten  from  their  position  in  the  town,  and 
forced  to  take  refuge  in  it.  This  house  being  two  or 
three  stories  high,  and  isolated,  the  enemy  kept  up  a 
tremendous  fire  from  all  the  windows  on  our  forces 
arriving  before  it,  so  that  we  had  several  killed  and 
wounded  in  an  instant,  without  being  able  to  approach  it. 
We  had  quantities  of  hay  and  straw  loaded  on  carts  and 
pushed  on  by  our  men ;  we  endeavoured  under  cover  of 
them  to  cross  the  bridge  and  get  up  to  the  house.  This 
stratagem  failed;  for  the  men  who  were  pushing  the 
carts,  not  being  sufficiently  covered,  were  shot  through 
the  angles  of  the  loads  of  straw.  I  had  my  horse  killed 
under  me  by  one  of  these  volleys  fired  from  the  windows 
of  this  house. 

A  young  man  who  was  on  horseback  in  shade  of  a  wall, 
seeing  my  horse  fall,  came  good-naturedly  and  offered  me 
his  horse,  which  I  accepted,  and  mounted  immediately 
and  rode  off  to  a  small  church  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile 
from  the  bridge  ;  we  had  placed  our  prisoners  there  under 
a  strong  guard  I  chose  from  amongst  these  prisoners, 
a  black  servant  man  in  livery,  as  the  most  conspicuous, 
brought  him  back  with  me  to  the  bridge  in  front  of  Lady 
Anne  Butler's  house,  made  him  tie  a  white  handker- 
chief to  a  cane,  and  hold  it  over  his  head ;  on  the  sight 
of  this,  the  fire  from  the  house  ceased. 

I  then  gave  him  his  instructions,  told  him  he  should 
go  into  the  house,  ask  to  see  the  officer  commanding  the 



English  troops  there,  tell  him  that  the  rear  of  the  house 
was  set  on  fire  by  another  party  of  our  forces,  whilst  we 
were  engaged  in  the  front ;  that  if  he  came  out  with  his 
men  and  brought  their  arms  and  ammunition  to  us,  they 
should  not  only  be  protected  but  set  at  liberty  to  go 
where  they  pleased.  That  if  they  did  not  accept  this 
offer  they  would  all  be  inevitably  consumed  in  less  than 
half  an  hour,  as  quantities  of  fuel  and  combustible  matter 
of  every  kind  was  applied  to  the  rear  of  the  house  by  our 
men  commanded  by  the  General-in-Chief  in  person,  who 
was  at  present  completely  master  of  the  whole  town, 
with  the  exception  of  this  single  house,  now  on  fire.  As 
to  himself,  I  told  him  he  should  be  taken  care  of  and  put 
at  liberty,  whatever  might  be  the  result  of  the  negotia- 
tion. This  honest  black  servant  left  me,  marched  quietly 
to  the  hall-door,  which  was  opened  for  him  from  within, 
and  in  less  than  five  minutes  came  back  to  me  on  the 
bridge  where  I  remained  to  receive  him.  The  answer 
he  brought  to  my  proposal  from  the  officers  besieged  was 
as  follows :  that  they  knew  but  too  well  that  the  house 
in  which  they  were  was  on  fire,  and,  consequently,  they 
were  ready  to  surrender ;  but  first,  they  wished  to  have 
a  written  protection  signed  by  the  Reverend  John 
Murphy,  whom  they  understood  was  our  Commander-in- 
Chief,  otherwise  they  could  not  venture,  on  account  of 
what  had  happened  that  morning  to  a  company  of  their 
troops  retreating  from  the  Colliery;  that  the  chief  to 
whom  the  company  surrendered  was  unable  to  protect 
them,  etc.  I,  of  course,  sorely  felt  the  truth  of  this  obser- 
vation, and  lamented  the  fatal  error  which  gave  ground 
for  it,  and  caused  the  failure  of  the  most  humane  inten- 
tion to  save  so  many  lives,  and  at  the  same  time  to  get 
their  arms  and  ammunition,  which  we  so  much  needed  at 
that  moment. 

I  now,  accompanied    by  my  black    "  parlementaire," 
went  to  seek  for  Father  John,  to  get  him  to  give  this 


written  document  required  by  the  besieged  officers,  and 
to  tell  him  of  all  that  had  occurred  since  we  separated  at 
the  Colliery.  After  making  a  great  round  through  the 
gardens,  I  at  length  had  an  interview  with  him  across 
the  river,  which  is  very  narrow  there  ;  he  highly  approved 
of  the  promises  I  had  made  to  the  besieged.  He  told 
the  black  servant  to  return  with  me,  and  desired  he 
should  go  instantly  back  to  the  house,  and  tell  the 
English  troops  there  that  the  moment  he  (Father  John 
Murphy)  could  procure  pen,  ink  and  paper,  he  would 
send  them  the  written  protection  they  required ;  that  he 
would  then  give  orders  to  cease  adding  more  fuel  to  the 
house  now  in  flames,  hoped  they  would  not  hesitate 
getting  out  of  it  before  it  was  too  late,  and  that  he  would 
be  at  the  bridge,  along  with  me,  to  receive  and  protect 
them.  On  which  I  returned  again  with  my  black  mes- 
senger to  the  bridge,  repeating  to  him  his  instructions. 
I  sent  him  as  before,  but  this  time  he  could  announce 
that  he  had  seen  and  conversed  himself  with  our  General- 
in-Chief,  who  pledged  himself  in  the  most  solemn  manner 
that  all  the  promises  I  had  made  to  the  military  who  took 
refuge  in  the  house  now  on  fire  should  be  strictly  adhered 
to,  and  that  the  moment  they  came  out  and  gave  up 
their  arms  and  ammunition,  they  would  be  put  at  liberty 
to  go  where  they  pleased,  and  that  the  greatest  care 
would  be  taken  that  none  of  them  should  be  molested. 

Of  course  I  now  expected  that  there  would  be  no 
further  difficulties  raised  by  those  unfortunate  men  who 
were  on  the  point  of  being  consumed,  and  that  they 
would  surrender  and  come  out  without  hesitation,  before 
the  house  crumbled  into  pieces  under  them.  I  waited 
most  anxiously,  thinking  every  minute  an  hour,  but  there 
was  no  appearance  of  any  movement  from  the  house.  I 
thought  it  strange  that  the  besieged  should  take  so  long 
to  deliberate  and  decide  this  time ;  more  than  half  an 
hour  elapsed,  when  at  length  I  saw  the  hall-door  open, 


and  the  worthy  black  man  running  towards  me  ;  he  cried 
out  this  time :  "  O !  Sir,  they  won't  surrender,  they  see 
from  the  top  windows  an  army  coming  to  their  relief,  but 
the  house  is  all  in  smoke  and  flames  about  them."  I 
thanked  him  for  the  way  he  behaved,  and  bid  him  stay 
by  me.  I  instantly  despatched  several  of  our  men  to 
seek  out  Father  John,  who  was  still  in  the  town,  to  let 
him  know  the  failure  of  our  negotiation,  and  the  cause  of 
it  Soon  after  we  heard  the  firing  of  muskets  on  the  hill 
to  our  left  flank,  and  the  whistling  of  balls  through  a 
grove  of  trees  on  the  same  side.  This  firing  came  from 
the  English  division  which  marched  from  Kilkenny  under 
the  command  of  General  Sir  Charles  Asgill.  If  this 
General  had  had  the  courage  to  have  marched  straight  on 
to  Castlecomer,  instead  of  firing  at  two  musket  shots' 
distance  from  us,  he  might  have  surprised  many  of  our 
men  scattered  through  the  town ;  but  now  we  were 
apprised  and  had  plenty  of  time  to  rally  our  forces,  and 
take  an  advantageous  position  on  a  rising  ground  oppo- 
site to  his  line,  and  there  wait  and  offer  him  battle, 
which  he  prudently  declined  to  accept,  and  which  was  to 
be  regretted ;  for  our  little  army  was  now  flushed  with 
victory,  and  powerfully  aided,  as  we  expected  it  would 
be,  by  the  colliers,  who  would  bravely  fight  to  keep  up 
their  ancient  reputation  as  the  defenders  of  Irish  rights. 

I,  not  having  entered  Castlecomer,  except  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  the  house  at  the  foot  of  the  bridge,  from 
which  the  greatest  resistance  was  made  by  the  enemy, 
and  where  our  forces  sustained  the  greatest  losses,  and 
where  so  many  brave  men  fell,  cannot  give  all  the 
details  of  what  took  place  in  the  town ;  but  it  was 
attacked  and  carried  in  the  most  brilliant  manner  by 
Father  John  Murphy  and  the  fine  fellows  he  commanded, 
and  with  very  little  loss. 

Although  I  have  already  related  a  great  deal  of  what 
I  myself  witnessed  during  this  memorable  day,  still  other 


incidents  occurred  later  which  will  shew  the  chances  we 
had  in  our  favour,  had  the  English  accepted  the  battle. 

In  moving  up  the  road  from  the  bridge  of  Castlecomer, 
after  we  had  rallied  our  forces,  we  heard  the  enemy's 
firing,  though  we  did  not  see  their  line  before  the  head 
of  our  column  passed  the  grove  or  wood  on  our  right 
flank  ;  then  we  perceived  General  Asgill's  division  drawn 
up  in  line  of  battle  at  a  verv  little  more  than  a  musket 
shot's  distance  from  us,  and  curious  to  say,  the  firing 
ceased,  and  he  allowed  our  column  to  gain  the  rising 
ground  opposite  his  line,  and  there  to  form  our  line  of 
battle,  whilst  he  might  have  attacked  us,  marching  by 
the  flank,  exposed  to  all  his  fire,  and  in  the  worst  position 
possible  to  resist  or  sustain  such  an  attack. 

During  this  march  another  odd  thing  happened.  A 
private  soldier  from  the  centre  of  the  English  line  quit 
his  ranks  and  came  running  towards  us,  armed  and 
equipped.  Several  shots  were  fired  after  him,  without 
effect.  This  soldier  told  us  we  might  count  on  seeing 
many  others  of  his  comrades  follow  his  example. 

It  is  difficult  to  know  to  what  to  attribute  such  great 
want  of  decision  on  the  part  of  General  Asgill,  as  he  was 
cruel  and  bloodthirsty.  Perhaps  his  conscience  told  him 
he  would  want  courage  on  the  occasion,  or  perhaps  he 
thought  implicit  confidence  could  not  be  placed  in  the 
troops  he  commanded.  Or  was  it  that  he  waited  for  a 
reinforcement  he  expected  before  he  would  risk  a  battle 
with  us?  Those  three  motives  combined  must  have 
weighed  very  heavily  indeed  upon  him,  for  he  abandoned 
the  field  and  marched  back  with  his  division  on  the  road 
to  Kilkenny,  leaving  us  at  perfect  liberty  to  return  to 
Castlecomer  if  we  wished.  But  then  we  could  have  no 
object  in  doing  so,  as  it  never  was  our  intention  to 
guard  or  keep  the  town;  and  having  got  all  the  arms 
and  ammunition  it  contained,  except  those  which  re- 
mained with  the  English  troops  in  the  house  at  the  foot 
of  the  bridge. 


If  we  could  have  even  suspected  that  General  Asgill 
feared  risking  a  battle,  we  should  have  left  a  part  of  our 
forces  before  the  house  at  the  foot  of  the  bridge,  until 
we  could  have  had  time  to  return  and  force  the  besieged 
to  come  out  and  lay  down  their  arms,  which  they  would 
have  done  now  without  hesitation,  finding  they  had  no 
relief  to  expect  from  this  too  prudent  warrior. 

Although  a  council  of  war  seemed  expedient  in  our 
critical  position,  yet  none  was  held,  as  Father  John 
Murphy  communicated  to  us  his  plan,  which  we  all 
agreed  to,  as  the  best  to  be  followed  under  the  present 

We  knew  that  General  Asgill  retreated  to  wait  for 
reinforcements,  and  we  suspected  that  he  wished  to  draw 
us  into  an  ambuscade,  if  we  had  pursued  him  on  the  road 
to  Kilkenny.  Without  artillery  we  could  not  think  of 
going  to  attack  a  city  where  the  enemy  was  well  provided 
with  cannon,  ammunition,  and  arms  of  every  description. 
Nothing  but  the  certainty  that  we  should  be  joined  by  the 
mass  of  the  population  could  have  warranted  such  a 
proceeding.  And  to  the  shame  of  the  people  of  that 
country  be  it  said,  they  preferred  to  bow  in  abject  slavery 
and  crouch  beneath  the  tyrants'  cruelty,  sooner  than 
come  boldly  to  take  the  field  with  us. 

Father  John,  perceiving  our  men  quite  exhausted  from 
want  of  repose  and  sleep,  after  the  fatigues  they  had 
endured  this  day,  marching  and  fighting,  resolved  at 
once  to  go  and  take  a  military  position  at  some  appro- 
priate situation  in  the  Queen's  county,  where  we  could 
bivouac  and  pass  the  night  with  safety. 

Though  our  march  from  Castlecomer  was  not  impeded 
by  the  enemy,  yet  it  was  distressing  to  witness  how  our 
men,  from  weakness,  threw  themselves  flat  on  the  road- 
side and  there  fell  fast  asleep.  This  showed  the  necessity 
of  halting  sooner  than  was  first  intended ;  for  Father 
John's  plan  was  to  march  that  day  through  that  part  of 


the  Queen's  county  leading  to  the  town  of  Athy  (county 
of  Kildare),  from  which  place  and  neighbourhood,  he 
learned,  thousands  of  fighting  men  only  waited  our  arrival 
to  come  flocking  to  join  our  standard,  and  thus  avail 
themselves  of  their  courage,  and  indeed  more  than  suffi- 
cient numbers  to  overthrow  the  King's  forces,  that  were 
keeping  them  in  bondage. 

Unfortunately  at  that  sorrowful  moment  the  popula- 
tion lay  prostrated  and  enervated  at  their  tyrants'  feet ; 
all  their  own  chiefs  being  either  in  exile,  banished, 
executed  or  imprisoned. 

After  we  passed  the  night  of  the  24th  of  June  in  the 
Queen's  county,  seeing  not  the  least  disposition  on  the 
part  of  its  inhabitants  either  to  aid  or  assist  us  in  our 
present  struggle  to  shake  off  the  cruel  English  yoke,  we 
began  our  movement  on  the  25th  to  approach  as  near  as 
we  could  that  day  to  Scollagh  Gap,  Mount  Leinster  and 
Blackstairs ;  we  wished  to  be  masters  of  those  important 
passes  into  the  counties  of  Carlow  and  Wexford,  in  order 
to  be  able  to  obtain  some  tidings  of  the  principal  division 
of  our  army,  which  separated  from  us  on  the  2ist  of  June 
in  Wexford  and  marched  over  the  wooden  bridge,  in  the 
direction  of  the  county  of  Wicklow.  We  were  at  all 
times  most  anxious  to  open  a  communication  with  that 
division,  but  it  now  became  imperative  to  do  so,  in 
consequence  of  our  critical  situation  and  the  want  of 
ammunition.  For  the  accomplishment  of  this  poor  Father 
John  Murphy  suggested  a  plan,  to  the  wise  instructions 
of  which  we  all  willingly  adhered.  They  were  very 
simple.  He  desired  that  all  those  who  had  any  quantity 
of  powder  should  divide  it  with  their  comrades  who  had 
none  ;  and  he  ordered  all  those  whose  fire-arms  were  out 
of  repair  to  provide  for  themselves  pikes,  or  some  weapon 
equivalent,  such  as  pitch  forks,  etc.  Thus  armed,  and 
marching  in  close  order,  we  had  nothing  to  dread  from 
either  cavalry  or  infantry,  and  we  should  be  able  to  force 


our  way  through  any  of  the  passes,  and  might  always 
avoid  risking  a  battle  against  a  superior  force  of  the 
enemy,  and  only  accept  it  when  we  were  sure  of  victory. 

Our  retrograde  march  from  the  Queen's  county  to 
repass  the  river  Barrow  (though  we  had  scarcely  any 
skirmishing  with  an  enemy  who  fled  from  us  the  moment 
we  drew  up  to  attack  it),  was  still  more  fatiguing  than  our 
march  the  day  before  from  Castlecomer.  The  long  road 
we  had  to  make,  the  great  heat  of  the  weather^  and  not 
being  joined  as  we  expected  by  the  people  of  that 
county,  (not  even  perceiving  the  numbers  of  the  colliers 
increase,  on  whose  great  exertions  and  assistance  we 
counted  so  much,  which  was  the  principal  cause  that 
induced  Father  John  to  come  into  the  country) ;  all  this 
was  disheartening  indeed,  and  we  arrived,  weary  and 
exhausted,  very  late  in  the  evening  of  the  25th  of  June, 
at  our  bivouac  on  the  Hill  of  Kilcomney,  county  of 
Carlow  side.  And  now  I  must  endeavour  to  explain  our 
situation  here,  as  it  will  be  the  last  time  I  shall  ever  have 
to  speak  of  Father  John  Murphy  as  our  commander.  I 
trust  it  may  not  be  thought  I  say  too  much  about  myself, 
and  the  intercourse  I  had  with  him  after  we  left  Wexford. 
Telling  my  own  story  may  be  considered  as  the  narrative 
of  what  took  place,  and  indeed  as  the  history  of  the 
events  and  results  which  followed  and  happened  to 
every  one  of  my  comrades,  nearly  in  the  same  way,  with 
the  exception  that  many  of  them  had  not  the  good  for- 
tune to  escape  as  I  have  had 

We  placed  our  out-posts  as  we  were  accustomed  to  do 
every  night,  and  had  our  wounded  brought  to  the  centre 
of  the  camp,  as  well  as  the  females  who  were  following 
their  beloved  husbands  and  brohers.  Our  position  here 
at  Kilcomney  Hill  was  by  no  means  a  military  one,  or 
well  chosen,  having  roads  leading  to  it  from  several 
directions.  It  had,  however,  one  advantage,  that  of 
being  near  the  Pass  of  Scollagh  Gap,  by  which  w? 


intended  marching  next  day,  and  of  fighting  our  way 
to  the  county  of  Wicklow.  The  arrangements  for  the 
night  being  completed,  in  a  few  minutes  all  were  sound 

I  awoke  next  morning,  the  26th  of  June,  a  little  before 
daylight,  and  my  first  care  was  to  rouse  up  some  men 
to  send  to  reconnoitre  on  different  roads.  Lamentable 
to  say,  almost  all  of  them  complained  how  they  had  been 
robbed  of  their  fire-arms  during  the  night  by  the  colliers. 
A  general  cry  of  indignation  went  through  our  camp 
against  these  scoundrels,  on  whom  we  counted  to  see 
performing  the  greatest  military  achievements  in  our 
ranks  ;  now  not  only  having  deserted,  but  having  availed 
themselves  of  our  brave  men  being  overpowered  with 
fatigue  and  want  of  sleep  to  wrench  their  arms  from 
them,  and  escape  to  their  coal  pits  or  former  hiding- 
places.  One  can  only  compare  these  colliers  to  the  men 
who  were  renowned  for  fighting  at  fairs  and  "  patterns," 
who  we  seldom  remarked  as  first  in  the  battle,  now  that 
we  were  fighting  for  our  independence,  and  to  shake  off 
the  English  yoke. 

Young  men,  sons  of  gentlemen  farmers,  and  the 
farmers'  sons,  generally  speaking,  were  the  men  to  whom 
the  people  looked  up  with  confidence  in  this  perilous 
struggle ;  and  in  no  instance  during  this  campaign  were 
they  deceived.  Those  brave,  modest  young  men,  who 
would  have  thought  it  a  dishonour  to  be  engaged  in  a 
fight  at  a  fair,  were  now  everywhere  seen,  first  in  the 
danger,  leading  their  men  to  victory. 

I  hastened  to  seek  Father  John,  to  let  him  know  what 
I  had  learned,  and  to  take  his  orders.  He  was  already 
apprised  of  the  treachery  of  the  colliers,  and  remarked, 
how  many  of  them  went  off  the  night  before  when  we 
were  in  the  Queen's  county.  He  also  knew  that  the 
King's  troops  were  moving  on  several  directions  to  sur- 
round and  attack  our  camp,  as  all  our  reconnoitring 


parties  returning  after  they  met  the  enemy,  confirmed 
this  report.  The  morning  being  foggy,  we  could  not 
well  distinguish  the  force  of  the  troops  coming  on  dif- 
ferent roads  to  surround  us,  but  it  was  at  once  resolved 
to  go  on  and  meet  and  attack  those  advancing  through 
the  pass  of  Scollagh  Gap,  and  to  force  our  way  at  any 
price  by  that  road,  as  we  could  have  no  pretence  to  make 
head  against  all  the  English  divisions  arriving  by  the 
other  routes,  in  our  deplorable  state,  with  a  scanty 
supply  of  ammunition  for  the  fire-arms  which  the  colliers 
did  not  deprive  us  of. 

The  enemy's  cavalry,  which  marched  out  from  the 
Pass  of  Scollagh  Gap,  was  boldly  attacked  and  beaten 
back  by  our  gunsmen,  well  supported  in  this  instance  by 
our  pikemen ;  so  that  in  a  short  time  we  were  masters 
of  a  sufficient  extent  of  it  to  admit  all  our  forces,  which 
still  amounted  to  four  or  five  thousand.  The  greatest 
care  was  taken  to  bring  off  all  our  wounded,  as  well  as 
the  females  who  were  following,  and  to  leave  nothing 
at  our  bivouac  to  become  the  prey  of  a  ferocious 

Yet  the  hired  Press  of  the  English  ascendancy 
of  that  day  would  have  it  that  we  abandoned  ten  pieces 
of  artillery  and  quantities  of  baggage,  and  had  thou- 
sands killed  and  wounded.  We  had  no  artillery  to 
abandon,  never  having  had  any  since  we  left  Wexford 
on  the  2  ist  of  June  ;  and  as  to  the  losses  sustained,  ours 
were  far  less  than  the  enemy's ;  our  rearguard  of  sharp- 
shooters covering  our  retreat  through  this  pass,  availing 
themselves  of  rocks  on  either  side,  they  took  deliberate 
aim  and  killed  or  wounded  almost  every  officer  who 
appeared  at  the  head  of  his  men  following  us,  whilst  our 
advanced  guard  opened  the  way,  fighting  desperately, 
driving  the  enemy  before  them,  until  we  got  completely 
through  the  Pass  of  Scollagh  Gap ;  and  the  much  prized 
and  greatly  spoken  of  Major  Mathews  thought  it  pru- 


dent  not  to  pursue  us  with  the  troops  he  commanded 
to  the  other  side  of  Scollagh  Gap;  and  as  to  the 
cowardly  General  Sir  Charles  Asgill,  who  was  at  the 
head  of  three  or  four  thousand  regular  troops,  his 
friends  might  have  attributed  to  his  "humanity,"  his 
not  wishing  to  come  to  close  quarters  with  us,  had  he  not, 
to  his  disgrace,  preferred  a  more  safe  and  easy  victory, 
running  with  his  army  through  the  districts  adjoining 
Kilcomney,  and  instead  of  pursuing  and  fighting  with 
us  in  the  field,  murdering  in  cold  blood  the  unarmed, 
inoffensive  inhabitants,  who  never  left  their  homes,  and 
who,  consequently,  had  taken  no  part  in  the  war.  They 
were  now  cruelly  rewarded  for  their  neutrality  by  this 
monster,  who  spared  neither  age  nor  sex ;  men,  women 
and  children  were  butchered  without  mercy  in  their 
houses  and  fields  where  they  were  peaceably  occupied 

What  we  had  accomplished  this  morning,  the  26th  of 
June,  might  have  been  considered  a  victory,  had  not 
a  dismal  cloud  soon  overcast  all  our  hopes  and  future 
plans.  The  Reverend  John  Murphy  was  missing.  In 
vain  did  we  seek  him  in  our  column,  nowhere  was  he 
to  be  found.  It  is  most  unaccountable  how  this  excel- 
lent, brave,  and  enterprising  chief  became  separated 
from  the  main  body,  as  all  our  movements  were  executed 
according  to  his  directions,  and  there  being  sufficient 
time  for  everyone  to  get  away  from  our  bivouac  before 
the  King's  troops  could  arrive  there.  Father  John  would 
have  joined  us  in  the  Pass,  where  we  were  fighting  and 
driving  the  enemy  before  us,  had  not  something  fatal 
prevented  him.  We  never  could  learn  positively  the 
final  end  of  this  most  excellent,  worthy  man.  Nearly 
a  year  after  this  time,  subscriptions  were  made  in  the 
city  of  Dublin  to  defray  the  expenses,  it  was  said,  of 
getting  Father  John  Murphy  to  escape  to  America. 

Mr.  Martin  Byrne,  a  woollen  draper  in  Francis  Street, 
and  several  of  his  friends,  were  very  active  in  this 


matter ;  they  wished  that  some  person  who  knew  him 
would  meet  the  clergyman  to  whom  the  money  was  to 
be  given,  to  assure  them  that  this  man  was  the  real 
Father  John  Murphy  who  distinguished  himself  so  much 
in  our  late  campaign.  I  was  hiding  in  Dublin  at  that 
time,  and  was  waited  on  by  a  friend  who  asked  me  to 
accompany  him  to  Mr.  Martin  Byrne's  house,  to  see  a 
fellow  whom  he  feared  was  only  personating  Father 
John,  in  order  to  swindle  benevolent  patriots  out  of 
their  money.  I  readily  complied,  and  on  the  first  sight 
of  a  black  looking  fellow,  told  Mr.  Byrne  and  his  friends 
that  they  were  imposed  on  by  an  impostor  who  had  not 
the  least  resemblance  to  poor  Father  John.  It  was 
reported  then  that  he  had  been  executed  at  Tullow, 
but  scarcely  anyone  would  believe  it,  as  no  mention 
appeared  of  his  arrest  in  the  Government  papers  of  the 
day,  when  the  vindictive  ascendancy  would  have  been 
too  glad  to  have  to  announce  officially  such  good  news 
as  the  hanging  of  a  popish  priest. 

When  we  got  through  the  Pass  of  Scollagh  Gap,  we 
must  have  appeared  formidable  to  the  enemy  on  that 
side  of  it.  For  we  soon  perceived  that  the  King's  troops 
had  fled  and  retreated  on  Enniscorthy  and  Newtown- 
barry;  as  I  have  already  said,  the  famous  General 
Asgill,  not  deeming  it  prudent  to  follow  us,  we  were 
again  masters  of  our  movements,  and  sufficiently  strong, 
notwithstanding  the  want  of  ammunition  and  the  good 
fire-arms  which  the  colliers  robbed  us  of,  to  march  and 
form  a  junction  with  the  other  division  of  our  army 
which  separated  from  us  at  Wexford,  and  which  we 
supposed  then  to  be  somewhere  in  the  county  of 

Unfortunately  our  General-in-Chief  was  absent  at 
this  critical  moment,  and  though  brave  and  intrepid 
leaders  were  still  at  the  head  of  our  men,  they  could  not 
agree  on  what  was  best  to  be  done.  All  of  them  from 


the  neighbourhood  of  Wexford  and  Enniscorthy  seemed 
bent  on  going  to  the  extensive  woods  of  Killaughram, 
as  the  best  and  surest  place  to  recruit  their  forces  in,  and 
to  wait  there  to  hear  news  of  the  other  Irish  division ;  - 
whilst  all  of  us  from  the  northern  part  of  the  county  of 
Wexford  persisted  on  the  necessity  of  marching  forth- 
with in  the  direction  of  the  Wicklow  mountains,  where 
we  might  be  sure  of  obtaining  intelligence,  and  probably 
join  the  division  without  difficulty.  I  did  everything  in 
my  power  to  dissuade  these  brave  fellows  from  sepa- 
rating from  us,  by  pointing  out  to  them  the  great  danger 
they  would  run  of  being  surrounded,  and  of  their  retreat 
being  made  impossible.  But  it  was  all  in  vain ;  they 
were  decided,  having  only  five  or  six  miles  to  march, 
they  said,  before  reaching  those  famous  woods  with 
which  many  of  them  seemed  well  acquainted,  whilst  they 
observed,  that  our  party  might  have  thirty,  or  even  forty 
miles  to  march  before  we  could  expect  to  join  the  corps 
commanded  by  Garrett  Byrne,  Edward  Fitzgerald, 
Anthony  Perry,  Esmond  Kyan,  etc. 

Further  supplication  now  became  useless ;  thus  from 
the  want  of  union  did  our  separation  and  dislocation 
begin.  We  were  only  pursued  by  an  enemy  that  but 
ventured  to  send  out  its  cavalry  to  kill  our  stragglers 
escaping  isolated  to  visit  their  families  and  homes.  We 
who  were  resolved  to  fight  our  way  to  the  Wicklow 
mountains,  found  by  this  last  lamentable  separation,  our 
numbers  indeed  very  inadequate  to  such  an  undertaking. 
Still  we  persevered  and  hoped  for  the  best. 

I  had  my  poor  brother  Hugh,  and  Jacob  Byrne,  of 
whose  desperate  wound  I  have  already  spoken,  placed 
on  the  same  car,  and  the  same  faithful  man  who  drove 
the  horse,  from  the  day  Hugh  was  wounded,  the  i8th 
of  June,  took  the  greatest  care  of  them  both.  Byrne's 
miraculous  escape  and  extraordinary  recovery  in  those 
awful  times  will  show  what  even  a  few  determined  men 


can  accomplish  in  the  most  perilous  situation  by  sticking 
firmly  together. 

All  the  cars  on  which  our  wounded  were  placed,  got 
safely  through  the  Pass  of  Scollagh  Gap.  The  one  on 
which  were  my  brother  and  Byrne  had  still  a  long  and 
dreary  route  to  make  of  more  than  thirty  miles,  from 
being  obliged  to  avoid  the  towns  where  the  English  had 
garrisons,  such  as  Clonegal,  Bunclody  or  Newtownbarry, 
Ferns,  Carnew,  etc. 

It  required  an  escort  composed  of  men  of  the  most 
undaunted  stamp  to  brave  the  dangers  which  overspread 
the  country  we  had  to  march  through,  from  Scollagh 
Gap  to  the  Wicklow  mountains,  and  that  so  recently 
after  the  battle  of  Vinegar  Hill,  which  so  flushed  the 
Yeomen  and  Orangemen  with  victory.  Yet  the  sight 
of  our  little  column  made  those  cowardly  assassins  fall 
back  on  their  English  supporters,  who  occupied  the 
towns,  and  leave  us  at  liberty  to  push  forward  and 
accomplish  our  plan,  with  some  skirmishing  from  time 
to  time  no  doubt. 

Monaseed  being  on  the  direct  route  to  the  Wicklow 
mountains,  I  hoped  I  should  there  have  the  pleasure  of 
meeting  once  more  my  dear  mother.  My  surprise  and 
grief  was  great  indeed  when  arriving  at  our  house,  not 
to  find  a  living  being  to  give  me  the  least  intelligence 
about  her.  Everything  was  in  disorder,  the  doors  wide 
open,  windows  and  furniture  broken,  etc.  Two  of  our 
tenants  living  on  a  farm  (Fox  Cover)  at  some  distance 
from  the  house  and  high  road,  we  hastened  to  go 
thither  in  expectation  of  finding  some  one  to  give  us 
information.  Fortunately  Mrs.  Maguire,  the  wife  of 
one  of  the  tenants,  happened  to  be  at  home 

This  good  woman  relieved  my  painful  anxiety:  she 
told  me  my  dear  mother  was  safe  and  well,  with  her 
faithful  servant  Biddy  Cosker,  at  Buckstown  House,  then 
belonging  to  Ralph  Blaney,  where  poor  Ned  Fennell's 


father  had  brought  them,  with  the  females  of  his  own 
family  for  protection.  Mr.  Fennell  having  saved  this 
house,  when  our  army  passed  that  way,  Mr.  Blaney  felt 
very  grateful  and  offered  his  services  in  return,  of  which 
this  worthy  man  Fennell  availed  himself  on  this  melan- 
choly occasion,  to  procure  a  safe  refuge  for  our  unpro- 
tected mothers  and  sisters. 

Poor  Jacob  Byrne's  own  dwelling  place,  Ballyellis, 
being  too  near  that  dreadful  Orange  town  Carnew,  he 
could  not  be  brought  there  without  risking  being 
shot  instantly;  he  was  therefore  placed  in  a  house 
belonging  to  us,  adjacent  to  Maguire's,  and  which  only 
served  for  keeping  cattle  in  winter.  One  of  his  sisters 
being  informed  of  his  arrival  and  of  his  sad  condition, 
came  and  remained  with  him  day  and  night  in  this 
waste  house ;  keeping  the  door  continually  wide  open 
to  prevent  suspicion  that  anyone  was  concealed  there. 
Provisions  of  one  kind  or  other  were  brought  and  left 
with  them  during  the  night,  by  females,  whose  courage 
and  humanity  in  those  terrible  times  deserve  the  greatest 
praise.  In  less  than  a  month  Byrne  gained  sufficient 
strength  to  get  to  another  hiding-place,  and  from  thence 
finally  to  Dublin,  where  I  met  him  the  year  after,  per- 
fectly recovered  from  his  extraordinary  wound,  with  no 
other  treatment  than  that  which  his  poor  sister  had 
been  able  to  render  him. 

I  think  it  right  to  mention  those  details,  to  show  how 
the  very  worst  wounds  are  cured  sometimes  without  sur- 
gical aid.  And  I  think  it  necessary  to  speak  of  our 
long  march  from  Scollagh  Gap,  to  show  that  those  brave 
men  who  separated  from  us  to  go  and  take  refuge  in  the 
woods  of  Killaughram,  might  have  passed  through  the 
country  where  the  horse  and  car  passed  on  which  Jacob 
Byrne  was  transported  to  Monaseed,  and  from  this  place 
have  gone  with  us  until  we  joined  the  other  division  at 
our  army  at  the  Gold  mines. 


My  brother  Hugh's  wound  being  now  a  great  deal 
better,  he  resolved  to  march  with  us,  and  on  no  account 
to  remain  behind  My  dear  sister  who  never  left  him 
an  instant  from  the  day  he  received  his  wound,  had  now 
to  separate  from  us  and  go  to  remain  with  our  mother 
at  Buckstown  House,  and  there  endeavour  to  comfort 
and  console  her  in  the  best  way  she  could.  Though 
very  young  at  the  time,  she  was  quite  adequate  to  such 
a  task,  enjoying  great  moral  courage,  and  a  flow  of 
spirits  which  prevented  her  desponding  in  the  worst  of 
times.  This  happy  disposition  of  our  sister  made  our 
separation  from  her  less  painful  than  it  otherwise  would 
have  been ;  besides,  we  knew  she  would  be  safe  at 
Buckstown  house  with  our  dear  mother  and  the  worthy 
Fennell  family. 

Before  continuing  our  route  to  the  Gold  mines,  we 
wished  to  get  news  of  the  different  combats  which  had 
taken  place  during  the  last  eight  days,  and  indeed  it  was 
most  cheering  to  receive  the  accounts  we  got  on  arriving 
at  Monaseed,  of  the  advantages  gained  over  the  King's 
troops  in  those  districts  by  our  forces  commanded  by 
Anthony  Perry,  Garrett  Byrne,  Edward  Fitzgerald, 
Esmond  Kyan,  etc.,  the  victory  called  "  the  Bloody 
Friday,"  the  attack  on  Hacketstown,  on  Chamney's 
House,  Cootalin,  Ballygraheen  Hill  near  Shillelagh,  and 
the  battle  and  defeat  of  the  Ancient  Britons.  All  those 
details,  though  given  to  us  by  poor  females  whose  hus- 
bands and  brothers  no  doubt  shared  in  those  actions, 
we  found  afterwards  to  be  quite  exact ;  and  the  list  of 
the  names  of  the  unfortunate  victims  murdered  in  cold 
blood  on  the  2Oth  and  2ist  of  June  in  their  houses, 
where  they  lay  sick,  unable  to  escape,  by  these  monsters 
holding  commissions  from  the  English  Government  as 
magistrates  and  commanders  of  yeoman  corps,  was 
accurate  indeed.  One  shudders  to  think  of  it. 

Here  is  one  instance  of  the  many,  which  may  serve  as 


an  illustration  how  these  foul  deeds  were  perpetrated 
by  cowardly  monsters  who  never  ventured  to  meet  us 
on  the  field  of  battle. 

Hunter  Gowan,  justice  of  the  peace,  captain  of  a 
corps  of  yeomen  cavalry,  knowing  that  Patrick  Bruslaun, 
a  near  neighbour  of  his,  and  with  whom  he  had  always 
lived  on  the  most  friendly  terms,  was  confined  to  bed 
with  a  wound,  rode  to  Bruslaun's  house,  knocked  at  the 
door  and  asked  Mrs.  Bruslaun  in  the  kindest  manner 
respecting  her  husband's  health.  "You  see,"  said  he, 
pointing  to  his  troops  drawn  up  at  a  distance  from  the 
house,  "  I  would  not  let  my  men  approach,  lest  they 
might  do  any  injury.  Conduct  me  to  your  husband's 
room,  I  want  to  have  a  chat  with  poor  Pat."  She,  not 
having  the  least  suspicion  of  what  was  to  follow,  ushered 
Gowan  to  her  husband's  bedside.  He  put  out  his  hand, 
and  after  exchanging  some  words  with  poor  Bruslaun, 
deliberately  took  out  his  pistol  and  shot  him  through 
the  heart.  Turning  round  on  his  heel  he  said  to  the 
unfortunate  woman,  "  You  will  now  be  saved  the  trouble 
of  nursing  your  damned  popish  rebel  husband." 

These  details  I  had  from  Mrs.  Bruslaun's  own  lips. 
And  how  many  more  of  the  same  kind  could  I  not  add  to 
them,  were  it  of  any  use  now  to  look  back  to  that  awfui 
epoch  of  English  tyranny  and  slaughter  in  Ireland? 

Poor  Bruslaun  was  not  forty  years  of  age;  he  left 
three  children  quite  young.  He  was,  without  exception, 
one  of  the  bravest  men  that  ever  lived  He  was  re- 
spected by  everyone  who  knew  him.  For  my  own  part 
I  loved  him  from  my  childhood  like  a  brother.  I  had 
many  first  cousins,  but  to  none  of  them  was  I  so  attached 
as  to  him ;  his  mother  was  my  father's  eldest  sister. 

How  grievous  to  think  that  none  of  those  would-be 
patriotic  writers  on  Irish  affairs  had  courage  to  go,  even 
some  years  after  1798,  when  no  danger  could  await  them, 
through  those  counties,  and  there  collect  materials,  and 


where  previous  to  the  insurrection  so  many  cold-blooded 
murders  were  perpetrated  on  the  innocent  and  peaceable 
inhabitants  by  these  magistrates  holding  commissions 
as  justices  of  the  peace,  as  colonels  of  militia  regiments, 
and  as  chiefs  of  yeomanry  corps,  and  who  were  a  dis- 
grace to  humanity  and  everything  sacred  on  earth ! 

I  was  "  residing,"  or  in  other  words  hiding  at  Booters- 
town  Lane  near  Dublin,  in  the  winter  of  1799.  The 
Parish  Priest  there,  the  Reverend  Father  Connelly,  on 
whom  I  sometimes  called,  asked  me  one  night  if  I  would 
have  any  objection  to  go  to  town,  to  meet  a  friend  of 
his  who  was  preparing  something  for  the  Press,  on  the 
causes  which  brought  about  the  insurrection.  I  answered 
I  had  none  whatever  to  go  and  see  any  friend  of  his, 
whom  I  presumed  was  like  himself,  a  staunch  patriot. 
He  smiled  and  told  me  that  the  gentleman  was  Coun- 
sellor MacCanna,  and  that  he  would  fix  a  night  with 
him  when  it  would  be  convenient  and  safe  to  receive  me 
at  his  house  in  Dublin.  He  added  how  Mr.  MacCanna 
wished  to  be  acquainted  with  those  from  whom  he  could 
acquire  information  respecting  the  murders  committed 
previous  to  the  breaking  out  of  the  insurrection,  at 
Carnew  and  in  that  neighbourhood  by  the  magistrates  of 
the  district,  and  especially  those  perpetrated  by  Hunter 
Gowan  previous  to  the  rising.  "  I  told  Mr.  MacCanna," 
said  Father  Connelly,  "  that  you,  being  from  that  coun- 
try, would  put  him  in  the  way  of  obtaining  all  he 

According  to  appointment,  I  waited  on  Counsellor 
MacCanna,  at  his  dwelling  place  in  Dublin,  and  there 
furnished  him  with  the  names  of  numbers  of  those  who 
were  slaughtered  at  the  little  town  of  Carnew  and  else- 
where previous  to  the  insurrection ;  in  short,  I  gave  him 
all  the  information  on  that  subject  which  I  thought  could 
lead  to  a  perfect  discovery  of  the  instigators  and  authors 
of  those  cold-blooded  murders.  I  gave  him  the  names 


of  the  magistrates  who  presided  at  those  executions  in 
the  hall  court  of  the  castle  of  Carnew,  and  mentioned 
particularly  Cope,  the  Protestant  minister  and  justice 
of  the  peace  of  the  district,  who  acted  as  prime  execu- 
tioner in  that  tragical  scene.  Mr.  MacCanna  told  me,  all 
I  mentioned  to  him  should  be  verified  on  the  spot,  and 
that  he  would  avail  himself  of  every  occasion  to  procure 
such  information  as  would  tend  to  a  complete  exposure 
of  the  infamous  expedients  resorted  to  by  the  Irish 
Government  of  that  epoch,  and  which  sanctioned  those 
murders  in  almost  every  district  in  Ireland. 

I  left  Mr.  MacCanna  highly  flattered  by  his  kind 
reception,  and  could  not  help  admiring  his  ardent  manner 
in  speaking  of  the  cruel  transactions  which  were  carrying 
on  at  the  time  to  destroy  every  vestige  of  Irish  liberty. 
His  great  zeal  on  this  occasion  did  not  surprise  me,  as 
I  knew  he  was  a  Roman  Catholic,  and  that  his  principal 
aim  would  be  to  prove  to  the  world  that  the  Irish  people 
were  not  making  a  religious  struggle,  but  were  carrying 
on  a  just  war  of  self-defence  against  the  most  unheard-of 
tyranny,  exercised  by  the  English  agents,  and  the  vile 
creatures  they  hired  in  Ireland  to  aid  and  assist  them 
in  the  perpetration  of  all  their  monstrous,  cold-blooded 

When  I  returned  to  Booterstown  Lane  and  told  the 
worthy  patriot  Father  Connelly  of  my  most  agreeable 
interview  with  his  valued  friend  Counsellor  MacCanna, 
he  was  quite  enchanted,  and  said  we  might  soon  expect 
to  see  something  appropriate  to  the  times  we  lived  in 
published  from  the  pen  of  this  highly  gifted  man,  whose 
talents  for  writing  were  then  well  known,  as  was  also 
his  great  devotion  to  the  interest  of  Ireland. 

Having  learned  at  Monaseed  everything  respecting 
the  enemy's  position,  and  that  we  should  only  have  to 
fight  their  cavalry,  we  marched  off  to  join  the  other 
division  of  our  army,  which,  we  were  informed,  was 


encamped  near  the  Gold  mines.  Both  my  brother  Hugh 
and  I,  knowing  every  part  of  this  country  we  had  to 
pass  through,  felt  the  greatest  confidence  that  we  should 
be  able  to  fight  our  way,  though  our  numbers  were 
diminished  in  consequence  of  our  long  march  from 
Scollagh  Gap.  Many  of  these  brave  men  likewise, 
passing  near  their  homes,  naturally  wished  to  go  and 
see  what  had  become  of  their  families  in  their  absence. 
Still  we  had  a  sufficient  number  to  make  head  against 
any  corps  of  cavalry ;  indeed  fifty  pikemen  and  three  or 
four  gunsmen  would  have  sufficed  at  that  moment  to 
prevent  these  dastards  from  approaching  our  column. 
Such  was  their  fear,  since  the  recent  lesson  they  had 
received  the  day  the  Ancient  Britons  were  defeated,  that 
the  sight  of  a  car  abandoned  on  the  way,  or  drawn  across 
the  road,  made  them  halt  and  cease  their  pursuit,  lest 
they  should  be  surprised  and  fall  into  an  ambuscade 
prepared  by  our  forces;  and  from  the  experience  we 
acquired  in  our  long  march  from  Scollagh  Gap,  I  am 
convinced  that  with  six  companies  of  pikemen  well 
organized,  and  about  six  or  eight  good  marksmen  with 
rifle  carbines  and  plenty  of  ammunition,  attached  to  each 
company,  we  could  have  crossed  the  country  in  every 
direction  in  spite  of  the  cavalry  that  could  have  been 
brought  against  us ;  for  the  moment  a  cavalry  corps 
attempted  to  charge,  our  men  would  quit  the  road  and 
get  behind  some  hedge  or  ditch,  and  there  wait  until  the 
cavalry  was  sufficiently  near  to  be  sure  to  take  a  few 
of  them  down  at  the  first  volley,  when  it  was  certain  the 
remainder  would  wheel  about  and  escape;  besides,  if 
no  means  of  erecting  an  obstacle  was  at  hand,  we  had 
always  the  resource  of  immediately  forming  our  pikemen 
into  a  solid  hollow  square,  which  certainly  would  not  be 
broken  by  the  cowardly  cavalry  we  had  to  engage  with 
at  that  epoch. 

No  country  in  the  world,  except  La  Vendee  in  France, 


offers  the  same  advantages  for  making  war  against 
cavalry  as  Ireland,  on  account  of  the  smallness  of  the 
fields,  and  the  very  high  fences  with  which  they  are 
surrounded  in  every  part.  How  curious  it  is,  we  had  no 
instance  of  those  bold  fox  hunters  who  composed  the 
yeomen  cavalry  corps  (and  whose  horses  never  refused 
leaping  any  kind  of  fence),  making  a  charge  through 
fields  to  attack  even  twenty  of  our  pikemen  who  kept 
well  together ;  but  a  single  isolated  man  was  sure  to  be 
pursued  and  cut  down  by  them.  Poor  Ned  Kennedy  of 
Ballyellis,  passing  at  some  distance  from  his  own  place, 
left  us  to  go  and  inquire  about  his  family ;  being  alone, 
a  troop  of  horse  attacked  him,  but  before  they  could  kill 
him  he  wounded  three  of  them  with  his  pike  in  a  des- 
perate manner.  Had  Kennedy  had  a  dozen  of  brave 
fellows  like  himself  along  with  him  at  the  time,  probably 
the  troop  would  not  have  ventured  on  so  perilous  a 
combat.  He  was  away  at  some  distance  from  our  little 
column,  and  that  sufficed  to  give  courage  to  the  fox- 
hunters.  To  conclude  this  chapter  I  shall  mention  the 
heartfelt  delight  we  experienced  on  meeting  at  the 
White  Heaps  the  other  division  of  our  army,  which  we 
so  much  longed  to  join.  It  was  on  its  march  from  the 
Gold  mines.  We  returned  with  it  to  Ballyfad,  where  we 
bivouacked  for  the  night. 

I  need  not  say  how  glad  we  were  to  see  again  so  many 
of  the  chiefs  with  this  division,  and  all  looking  tolerably 
well,  viz. :  Anthony  Perry,  Garrett  Byrne,  E.  Fitzgerald, 
Esmond  Kyan,  Edward  Roche,  etc.,  but  alas!  many 
others  were  missing.  The  splendid  Ned  Fennell, 
Johnny  Doyle,  and  several  of  my  dearest  friends  were 
killed  in  different  combats  whilst  we  were  fighting  at 
Castlecomer.  However,  the  friend  of  my  childhood 
and  with  whom  I  began  my  United  Irish  career,  the 
brave  and  truly  patriotic  Nick  Murphy  of  Monaseed, 
was  here ;  and  although  he  was  suffering  sadly  from  a 


fall  and  sprained  foot,  which  obliged  him  to  ride  behind 
a  man  on  a  pillion,  still  he  did  not  despond.  He  did 
not  despair  of  our  being  able  to  keep  the  field  and  making 
head  against  the  enemy,  until  relief  in  ammunition  could 
be  procured,  even  from  some  neutral  country  not  at  war 
with  England.  It  was  at  this  juncture  that  Murphy  and 
I  had  to  lament  the  loss  of  our  large  jar  of  powder, 
which  the  unfortunate  Jack  Sheridan  discovered  and 
surrendered  to  Hunter  Gowan  and  by  which  Sheridan 
escaped  being  put  to  death.  The  want  we  were  in  of 
ammunition  often  was  the  cause  which  induced  us  to  go 
and  attack  barracks  and  houses  where  we  thought  we 
might  have  a  chance  of  procuring  some.  By  these 
perilous  and  rash  attacks  the  lives  of  the  bravest  of  our 
men  were  sacrificed,  which  would  have  been  avoided  if 
we  had  had  a  competent  supply  of  powder  and  ball  to 
carry  on  a  defensive  campaign,  whilst  waiting  the  assist- 
ance we  hourly  expected  from  France.  It  was  even 
hoped  at  the  time  that  when  a  proper  application  would 
be  made  by  our  friends  in  America,  that  the  brave  people 
of  that  country  would  hasten  to  send  us  arms  and 
ammunition.  They  have  since,  in  the  Greek  struggle  to 
shake  off  the  Turkish  yoke,  afforded  the  most  important 
service  to  that  nation,  by  sending  there  provisions  of 
every  kind. 

From  the  neutral  powers  of  the  Continent  we  had 
nothing  to  expect ;  on  the  contrary,  they  were  furnishing 
their  Hessian  soldiers  to  our  enemies  the  English,  to  aid 
and  assist  them  in  ravaging  and  plundering  poor  Ireland. 
Thus  we  were  doomed  to  be  left  to  our  own  resources ; 
and  still,  if  all  those  who  took  the  United  Irish  test,  had 
been  of  the  same  stamp  as  the  brave  Nick  Murphy  of 
Monaseed,  we  should  have  succeeded  in  prolonging  the 
war  until  we  should  have  awakened  the  sympathy  of 
some  generous  nation  in  our  favour.  He  was,  I  must 
say,  without  exception,  one  of  the  most  determined  men 


engaged  in  our  struggle.  He  never  thought  that  he  could 
do  half  enough  to  forward  the  sacred  cause  we  had 
undertaken.  He  was  high-spirited  and  honourable,  liked 
by  all  who  knew  him,  simple  and  unpretending  in  his 
manners,  and  very  well  informed.  He  was  handsome, 
active,  and  well  made,  though  rather  slight;  he  was 
twenty-four  years  of  age. 

After  the  disasters  at  the  Boyne,  Murphy  escaped  to 
Dublin,  and  was  hiding  at  Mr.  Dillon's  house,  Merchant's 
Quay,  where  he  received  the  kindest  hospitality.  He 
passed  several  months  there  as  one  of  the  clerks  of  the 
establishment,  when  one  morning  a  servant  came  to  tell 
him  that  a  country  carman  was  in  the  hall  who  had  a 
letter  for  him  from  his  mother,  and  which  he  wished  to 
deliver  himself  in  person.  Murphy  hastened  down  stairs 
to  the  hall,  when  the  carman,  all  covered  with  mud,  and 
wearing  a  pair  of  big  brogues,  presented  him  a  letter, 
the  seal  of  which  he  broke  without  hesitation,  seeing  it 
was  to  his  address ;  on  which  the  carman  opened  his 
great  coat  and  drew  a  cocked  pistol,  levelling  it  at  his 
breast  and  telling  him  not  to  stir  or  he  would  shoot  him 
on  the  spot,  that  he  was  his  prisoner,  etc.  Fortunately 
Murphy  caught  the  lock  of  the  pistol  with  his  left  hand, 
the  forefinger  or  index  of  which  got  between  the  hammer 
and  the  flint,  which  prevented  it  going  off.  The  finger 
was  cut  to  the  bone  with  the  flint.  This  wound  saved 
his  life ;  but  now  a  desperate  struggle  ensued  between 
the  disguised  carman  and  Murphy.  Luckily  the  latter 
knew  well  how  to  wrestle,  and  at  length  succeeded  in 
tripping  up  his  antagonist  and  getting  away  through  the 
back  yard  and  up  to  a  hay  loft,  from  which  he  got  out 
on  the  roofs  of  houses  and  escaped  down  into  a  street 
in  the  rear. 

When  the  false  carman  got  up,  he  hastened  to  open 
the  hall  door  and  to  call  Major  Sirr  and  his  gang  to  his 
assistance.  They  entered  and  also  surrounded  Mr. 


Dillon's  house,  sword  in  hand,  pistols  cocked,  etc.  The 
dastardly  Town  Major  took  the  same  precautions  on  this 
occasion  which  he  did  the  day  he  shot  poor  Lord  Edward 
Fitzgerald  at  Murphy's  house  in  Thomas  Street.  Seeing 
a  heap  of  straw  in  the  coach-house,  and  perceiving  some- 
thing stir  in  it,  he  instantly  ordered  his  men  to  advance 
and  fire  a  volley  into  the  straw,  by  which  he  expected 
Nick  Murphy,  if  not  killed,  would  at  least  be  maimed,  so 
as  to  prevent  him  offering  any  further  resistance.  His 
dismay  must  have  been  great  indeed  when  he  discovered 
that  it  was  not  Murphy,  but  a  beautiful  pointer  and  her 
little  puppies  that  were  killed  by  those  fellows,  whom  he 
made  march  before  him,  to  cover  his  sacred  person  from 
all  danger.  Mr.  Dillon's  house  was  soon  surrounded  and 
rummaged  from  one  end  to  the  other  in  every  hole  and 
corner  capable  of  containing  a  living  being,  and  the 
adjacent  houses  were  not  only  searched,  but  guards  left 
to  watch  every  issue  leading  to  them. 

Notwithstanding  all  these  precautions,  Murphy  found 
a  safe  place  to  conceal  himself,  and  baffled  Major  Sirr 
and  his  band  of  ruffians  for  the  moment.  Indeed  it  is 
only  justice  to  say  that  the  Dublin  people  of  1798, 
though  they  did  not  rise  en  masse  and  erect  bar- 
ricades, as  they  ought  to  have  done,  yet  were  they  ever 
ready  to  receive  and  render  service  to  those  patriots  who 
were  driven  to  take  refuge  in  the  city  to  escape  from 
the  most  cruel  and  unheard-of  tortures  and  murder 
hourly  perpetrated  in  the  provinces  of  Ireland. 

From  his  hiding-place  Murphy  found  means  to  inform 
his  poor  mother  who  resided  in  Wexford,  of  his  fortunate 
escape  and  actual  perilous  situation.  This  worthy 
woman  hastened  to  send  him  all  the  money  she  could 
make  up,  by  her  daughter  Nancy,  who  came  by  sea  to 
Dublin,  and  arrived  there  just  in  time  to  see  her  brother, 
and  to  hand  him  the  money  to  pay  his  passage  to  Ham- 
burg, a  vessel  bound  for  that  city  being  under  weigh, 


and  clearing  out  from  the  Custom  House  Dock,  and  in 
which  Murphy  lay  concealed.  He  had  only  time  to  take 
a  sad  farewell  of  his  beloved  sister,  who  returned  the 
same  night  to  Wexford  to  endeavour  to  comfort  their 
aged  mother  in  her  present  affliction. 

After  running  many  perils  at  sea,  Murphy  escaped 
from  the  English  cruisers  and  arrived  safely  at  Hamburg, 
and  from  thence  he  hastened  to  Paris,  to  offer  his 
services  to  the  French  Government,  to  accompany  any 
expedition  destined  for  Ireland.  He  waited  several 
years  in  France,  always  in  hope  that  sooner  or  later 
something  would  be  done  for  his  unfortunate  country. 
At  length,  despairing  of  any  aid  ever  being  obtained  for 
her  from  France,  and  having  exhausted  all  the  little 
resources  which  his  mother  had  been  able  to  provide,  and 
by  which  she  was  reduced  to  very  straitened  circum- 
stances, being  in  great  distress,  he  manfully  decided  on 
returning  at  any  risk  to  find  some  employment  by  which 
he  would  be  enabled  to  support  his  mother  and  sister. 
He  could  not  think  of  ever  returning  to  Monaseed ; 
besides  the  little  property  he  had  there  was  sold  He 
stopped  at  Enniscorthy,  and  there  became  an  agent  or 
corn  factor  for  merchants.  He  soon  acquired  an  honour- 
able independence.  The  principal  person  by  whom  he 
was  employed  was  that  benevolent  and  charitable  gentle- 
man, Richard  Devereux  of  Wexford. 

Murphy  finished  his  days  in  sight  of  Vinegar  Hill, 
where  he  displayed  so  much  bravery  on  the  2ist  of 
June,  1798.  Few  men  ever  had  a  higher  sense 
of  honour  and  self-respect  than  Murphy.  He 
was  proud,  not  vain;  he  never  sought  the  acquaint- 
ance of  those  rich  Catholics  whose  fathers  were  the 
tithe-proctors  of  the  cruel  ascendancy,  by  whose  avarice 
the  wealth  and  resources  of  poor  Ireland  were  hourly 


Although  we  did  not  muster  very  strong  the  day  we 
joined  the  other  division  at  the  White  Heaps,  yet  vast 
numbers  of  those  who  remained  behind  to  enquire  after 
the  families,  when  we  passed  Scollagh  Gap,  rallied  during 
the  night  at  our  bivouac  at  Ballyfad  and  were  con- 
sidered a  timely  reinforcement  and  welcomed  as  such 
in  the  best  way,  by  getting  something  to  eat  and  drink 
from  their  comrades.  I  regretted  not  to  see  A.  Perry  the 
first  evening,  but  I  met  him  next  day  in  the  thick  of  the 
fight  at  the  battle  of  Ballygullen,  an  account  of  which  I 
shall  give  in  the  next  chapter,  after  first  relating  the 
different  battles  and  combats  fought  by  this  division 
which  crossed  the  wooden  bridge  at  Wexford  on  the 
2  ist  of  June,  commanded  by  Edward  Fitzgerald,  A. 
Perry,  Edward  Roche,  Esmond  Kyan,  etc.,  up  to  this 
day,  the  3rd  of  July,  1798,  at  Ballyfad. 


I  HAVE  described  in  the  fifth  chapter  the  unaccountable 
way  our  army  separated  into  two  divisions  at  Wexford 
on  the  2  ist  of  June,  after  the  loss  of  the  battle  of  Vinegar 
Hill ;  and  I  have  related  in  the  same  chapter  the  march, 
combats  and  engagements  with  the  enemy  by  the  division 
which  left  Wexford  unde  the  command  of  Father  John 
Murphy,  in  the  direction  of  Sleedagh  (barony  of  Bargy). 
I  will  now  continue  to  give  an  account  of  the  progress  of 
the  other  division  of  our  army  which  crossed  the  wooden 
bridge  at  Wexford  on  the  same  day,  the  2ist  of  June, 
under  the  command  of  the  following  chiefs,  Edward 
Fitzgerald,  Edward  Roche,  Anthony  Perry,  Esmond 
Kyan,  etc.  This  division  had  to  march  with  the  greatest 
precaution,  as  all  the  roads  leading  to  Wexford  were 
supposed  to  be  intercepted  by  the  enemy's  forces  from 
Enniscorthy.  However,  though  marching  on  the  flank 
of  the  English,  it  arrived  late  in  the  evening  at  Peppard's 
Castle,  a  distance  of  ten  or  twelve  miles  from  Wexford, 
where  it  bivouacked  that  night ;  thus  leaving  the 
English  General-in-Chief  Lake's  headquarters  at  nearly 
the  same  distance  behind  it  at  Enniscorthy. 

Early  in  the  morning  of  the  22nd  of  June,  the  principal 
leaders  of  the  division  decided  at  the  council  of  war  they 
held,  to  march  forthwith  by  the  shortest  and  surest  route 
to  the  Wicklow  mountains,  and  there  to  choose  a  good 
military  position  against  the  enemy,  where  they 
might  avoid  being  forced  to  risk  another  general  battle, 
until  some  ammunition,  now  so  much  wanted,  could  be 
procured,  one  way  or  other. 

This  division  of  our  army  that  should  have  mustered 
at  least  twenty  thousand  men,  shewed  a  great  falling-off, 


as  well  as  the  other  division  with  Father  John  Murphy, 
in  consequence  of  the  great  hopes  held  out  that  Lord 
Kingsborough's  embassy  to  General  Lake  would  be 
successful.  Vast  numbers  of  the  best  marksmen 
remained  behind,  waiting  the  return  of  their  delegates 
from  the  enemy's  headquarters  at  Enniscorthy ;  but 
Fitzgerald  and  the  other  chiefs  were  not  to  be  deluded 
by  the  Wexford  negotiations ;  they  were  more  deter- 
mined than  ever  to  keep  the  field  and  harass  the  enemy 
in  every  possible  way  and  gain  time  and  prolong  the  war 
until  assistance  arrived  from  France,  which  was  now 
daily  expected 

When  the  English  forces  left  in  reserve  at  Arklow  and 
Gorey,  by  General  Needham,  to  cover  the  rear  of  General 
Lake's  army  before  Vinegar  Hill,  heard  that  we  had  lost 
the  battle  there,  and  were  told  also  that  our  army  was 
dispersed  and  nearly  exterminated  and  not  likely  ever  to 
be  able  to  rally  and  assemble  again,  they  took  courage 
and  sallied  out  from  those  towns.  They  began  to  murder 
all  they  met,  crossed  and  scoured  the  country  in  every 
direction,  entered  the  houses,  killing  those  even  who  lay 
sick,  plundering  and  robbing  the  people  of  everything 
they  thought  worth  taking  away. 

The  troops  which  composed  this  infernal  band  were 
the  Ancient  Britons,  a  cavalry  regiment,  and  several 
English  infantry  regiments  with  all  the  yeomanry  corps 
of  the  country,  who  were  commanded  by  their  Orange 
chiefs,  viz. :  Hunter  Gowan  of  Mount  Nebo,  Beaumont 
of  Hyde  Park,  Ram  of  Gorey,  Earl  Courtown,  White 
of  Middleton,  Earl  Mountnorris,  etc.  These  cowards 
were  at  their  work  of  extermination  on  Friday,  the  22nd 
of  June,  when  a  division  of  our  army  on  its  way  to  the 
Wicklow  mountains  came  up.  They  saw  several  women 
lying  with  their  bowels  ripped  up  and  young  children 
grasped  in  their  arms ;  they  became  furious  at  the  sight 
cf  such  horrors,  and  a  general  cry  for  vengeance  ran 


through  the  column.  The  route  was  changed  and 
orders  given  to  scour  the  country  on  each  side  of  the 
road  to  Gorey:  those  savages  were  found  in  various 
houses,  committing  all  kinds  of  crimes ;  they  were 
beaten  and  driven  back  upon  Gorey,  where  they 
attempted  to  rally  and  give  battle,  but  here  again  they 
were  defeated  and  pursued  on  the  road  to  Arklow  with 
great  loss.  This  town  would  have  been  abandoned  by 
the  English  troops  had  our  generals  thought  it  advisable 
to  march  thither  and  take  possession  of  it;  but  they 
wished  to  keep  nearer  the  Wicklow  mountains  and  were 
satisfied  with  the  complete  victory  gained  over  the 
enemy  at  Gorey,  and  in  the  pursuit  as  far  as  Coolgreany, 
where  vast  numbers  of  those  assassins  were  slain  by  our 
intrepid  men,  who  were  all  well  mounted  and  prepared 
for  the  pursuit.  The  main  body  remaining  at  Gorey  to 
get  refreshments,  orders  were  sent  to  all  our  out-scouting 
parties  to  return  and  rally  the  division  there.  When 
all  had  rejoined  the  column,  they  marched  in  the  direc- 
tion of  Wicklow  Gap  at  the  foot  of  Craghen  Hill,  to 
bivouac  there  for  the  night. 

The  humane  and  generous  conduct  of  that  truly  brave 
man  Edward  Fitzgerald  of  New  Park,  can  never  be  too 
much  praised.  For  whilst  he  was  using  all  his  influence 
to  save  the  English  and  Orange  prisoners  made  at 
Gorey,  the  news  of  the  burning  and  complete  destruction 
of  his  own  beautiful  mansion,  with  its  offices",  malt- 
house,  etc.,  amounting  in  value  to  many  thousand  pounds, 
was  brought  to  him  by  some  of  his  faithful  servants  wha 
had  escaped  from  the  flames  and  the  rage  of  the  English 
soldiers  sent  by  General  Lake  to  execute  those  cruel 
deeds.  This  melancholy  intelligence  Mr.  Fitzgerald 
heard  with  the  greatest  composure  and  fortitude  ;  it  only 
seemed  to  make  him  exert  himself  the  more  to  save  the 
lives  of  the  prisoners,  which  became  now  every  moment 
more  difficult,  in  consequence  of  the  bodies  of  nine  of 


our  men,  who  had  been  hung  the  day  before,  having 
been  discovered  by  their  relations  in  the  streets,  where 
the  swine  were  devouring  them.  Some  were  also  found 
lying  in  the  streets  expiring,  having  been  recently  shot. 
The  rage  of  our  men  at  the  sight  of  such  horrors  was 
such  that  it  was  with  the  utmost  difficulty  Edward 
Fitzgerald  and  the  other  chiefs  prevented  them  burning 
the  town  of  Gorey,  and  the  old  governor  or  sovereign  of 
it,  Mr.  Pippard,  from  being  shot.  It  was  averred  that 
he  had  presided  at  the  execution  of  our  unfortunate  men 
the  day  before.  He  was  a  very  old  man,  and  defended 
himself  by  saying  that  he  was  forced  to  comply  with 
the  wishes  of  the  vile  soldiery  and  Orange  mob,  who 
had  been  spreading  death  and  destruction  through  every 
part  of  the  country,  when  they  were  told  that  our  defeat 
at  Vinegar  Hill  was  such  that  we  could  never  rally  again. 

It  is  scarcely  possible  to  describe  the  horrors  and 
atrocities  exhibited  on  this  occasion.  Unprotected 
females  of  all  ages  became  the  prey  of  the  brutality  of 
those  ruffian  English  soldiery ;  women  and  children  were 
the  victims  of  their  indiscrimmating  fury.  This  dreadful 
day  is  known  since  by  tradition  in  the  country  as 
"Bloody  Friday,"  which  was  the  22nd  of  June,  1798. 

A  sudden  and  well-merited  vengeance,  however, 
overtook  many  of  these  monsters  caught  in  the  midst  of 
their  crimes ;  but  the  principal  chiefs  and  instigators  of 
such  foul  deeds,  being  well  mounted,  escaped  to  Arklow. 
Hunter  Gowan  and  the  greater  number  of  the  com- 
manders of  yeomen  cavalry  who  were  seldom,  or  rather 
never  to  be  met  in  battle,  shed  more  innocent  blood, 
going  from  house  to  house  murdering  all  they  met,  than 
those  who  fought  their  battles. 

However  painful  it  is  to  look  back  on  those  horrible 
times,  having  had  some  of  my  own  dearest  relations  and 
best  friends  murdered  in  cold  blood,  I  cannot  refrain 
from  repeating  in  this  narrative  the  names  of  some  of 


the  perpetrators  of  these  cruel  deeds,  who  in  their  double 
capacity  of  magistrates  and  captains  of  yeomanry,  not 
only  ordered,  but  presided  at  the  execution  of  men, 
many  of  whom  were  aged  and  had  never  left  their  houses 
during  the  war,  nor  taken  any  part  in  it.  My  uncle, 
Mr.  Breen  of  Castletown,  was  one  of  those,  but  his 
neutrality  did  not  save  him. 

In  another  chapter  I  have  told  the  treacherous  manner 
in  which  Captain  Beaumont  of  Hyde  Park  had  both  him 
and  his  son  Pat  murdered  in  the  presence  of  my  aunt 
Breen  and  her  four  daughters  on  the  lawn  before  the 
hall  door.  Beaumont,  who  was  escorted  by  a  detach- 
ment of  cavalry,  knocked  at  the  door  and  asked  to  see 
my  uncle,  with  whom  he  was  on  the  most  friendly  terms. 
As  soon  as  Mr.  Breen  came  out,  Beaumont's  first  ques- 
tion was:  "Are  your  sons  Pat  and  Miles  at  home?" 
"  Certainly ;  where  should  they  be  ?"  was  the  answer  of 
the  poor  father.  "  Well,  let  them  appear,  or  those  men 
who  accompany  me  won't  believe  it."  When  they  came 
out  the  father  and  the  eldest  son  Pat  were  placed  on 
their  knees  and  immediately  shot.  Miles,  who  was  only 
sixteen  years  of  age,  was  sent  prisoner  to  Arklow,  and 
from  thence  aboard  a  guard-ship  in  the  Bay  of  Dublin. 

No  pen  can  describe  the  dreadful  state  of  my  unfor- 
tunate aunt  and  her  four  daughters  at  this  awful 
moment.  To  add  to  their  misery,  one  of  the  assassins 
had  the  brutality  to  tell  the  eldest  daughter  Mrs.  Kinsela, 
who  had  been  married  but  a  year  or  two  before,  that 
she  would  find  something  else  to  weep  over  when  she 
returned  home.  She  had  come  but  half  an  hour  before 
to  visit  her  family;  her  own  place  being  but  a  short 
mile  from  her  father's  house.  As  the  monster  told  her, 
when  she  went  home  she  found  her  husband  lying  dead 
in  the  court-yard,  and  a  young  child  of  a  few  months  old 
in  his  arms.  The  unfortunate  man  had  taken  it  out  of 
its  cradle,  thinking  that  the  sight  of  the  poor  infant 


might  soften  Beaumont's  heart  and  incline  him  to  mercy. 
But  this  staunch  supporter  of  the  Protestant  ascendancy 
could  not  let  so  good  an  opportunity  pass  of  proving  his 
loyalty  to  his  king,  by  thus  exterminating  a  Catholic 
neighbour.  Yet,  strange  to  say,  his  own  three  sisters 
were  very  strict  Roman  Catholics  and  respectable  ladies 
holding  a  certain  station  amongst  the  Catholic  gentry 
of  the  country.  They  were  Mrs.  William  Talbot  of 
Castle  Talbot,  Mrs.  Barry  Lawless  of  Shank  Hill,  and 
Miss  Mary  Beaumont.  I  have  met  all  these  ladies  in 
company  at  Paris  after  the  restoration  of  the  Bourbons. 
Of  course  I  had  no  conversation  with  them  on  the  cold- 
blooded murders  perpetrated  in  our  unfortunate  coun- 
try ;  I  presume  they  lamented  the  active  part  their 
brother  took  in  these  horrible  deeds. 

I  met  also  in  Paris  Mrs.  Butler,  a  daughter  of  that 
notorious  monster  Hunter  Gowan.  It  was  well  known 
that  neither  this  lady  nor  any  of  her  thirteen  sisters  (all 
of  whom  were  unmarried  at  the  time  of  the  insurrection), 
ever  took  the  least  pains  to  mollify  their  father,  or  turn 
him  from  his  cruel  propensity  to  spilling  blood ;  on  the 
contrary,  they  seemed  to  take  delight  and  to  be  amused 
preparing  the  poor  "  croppies  "  heads  for  receiving  the 
pitch  caps,  cutting  the  hair,  and  making  what  they 
called  asses  crosses  on  them,  previous  to  the  application 
of  this  infernal  blistering  invention  of  torture,  which  was 
introduced  into  the  county  of  Wexford  by  the  colonel 
of  the  North  Cork  Militia,  Lord  Kingsborough  and  his 
vile  Orange  associates.  After  all  this,  and  the  piquet- 
ing, half-hanging  and  flogging  which  the  magistrates 
had  recourse  to,  are  our  poor  people  to  be  blamed 
for  the  reprisals  they  were  goaded  on  to  inflict?  No 
doubt,  cold-blooded  murders  must  ever  disgrace  the 
most  sacred  cause,  and  the  perpetrators  of  them  should 
be  held  up  to  everlasting  execration  by  all  brave  men, 
and  nothing  can  excuse  the  burning  of  the  barn  at 


Scullabogue  with  the  prisoners  it  contained  ;  yet  it  never 
appeared  that  it  was  a  premeditated  action  ;  it  could  only 
have  been  the  act  of  some  cowardly  ruffians  escaping 
from  the  battle  of  Ross,  and  never  could  be  attributed 
to  anyone  above  the  meanest  vulgar  wretch ;  and  the 
cowardly  Dixon  who  got  the  prisoners  put  to  death  on 
the  bridge  of  Wexford,  was  a  seafaring  "  cannibal,"  who 
took  advantage  of  the  chiefs  being  away  at  the  camp, 
to  commit  this  atrocious  crime.  These  brave  leaders 
would  have  saved  liberty  this  lamentable  disgrace ;  not 
one  of  them  ever  suffered  or  countenanced  such  re- 
prisals. On  the  side  of  the  English  army,  the  cold- 
blooded murders  were  perpetrated  at  the  instigation  of 
the  generals  in  command,  who  not  only  presided  at  the 
executions,  but  allowed  their  undisciplined  soldiers  to 
enter  the  houses  and  violate  the  unfortunate  women, 
who  had  no  means  of  escaping  from  these  brutal  mon- 
sters. To  the  honour  of  our  army,  there  was  not  a 
single  instance  of  a  female  belonging  to  the  enemy  ever 
being  molested  during  the  war,  and  no  place  of  worship 
of  any  religion  was  ever  desecrated,  whilst  thirty-three 
Roman  Catholic  chapels  were  burned  to  the  ground. 
The  Protestant  church  of  Old  Ross  was  burned  on  the 
second  of  June,  1798 ;  it  was  said  to  have  been  burned 
by  accident ;  at  all  events  it  was  the  only  one. 

The  exhausted  state  of  the  county  of  Wexford  with 
regard  to  provisions  at  this  season  of  the  year,  when  the 
new  crops  were  far  from  being  ripe,  was  now  sorely  felt 
by  our  little  army,  as  well  as  the  want  of  powder  and 
ball,  and  notwithstanding  the  brilliant  victory  gained 
over  the  enemy  at  Gorey,  it  became  necessary  to  march 
to  the  Wicklow  mountains,  where  at  least  sheep  could 
be  easily  procured. 

Garrett  Byrne  of  Ballymanus  approaching  now  his 
own  country,  was  consulted  on  every  occasion  by 
Fitzgerald  and  the  other  chiefs,  and  indeed  he  seemed 



to  have  the  principal  command,  that  is,  his  suggestions 
and  plans  were  followed  for  some  days. 

From  our  camp  near  the  White  Heaps,  at  the  foot  of 
Craghan  Hill,  on  the  23rd  of  June,  several  corps  of  the 
enemy's  cavalry  were  seen  at  a  distance  on  the  road  to 
Arklow,  but  they  did  not  venture  to  advance  or  approach 
our  column ;  and  those  of  the  enemy's  corps  coming 
from  the  other  direction  were  attacked  and  dispersed  in 
a  short  combat,  and  they  soon  disappeared  altogether. 
So  skirmishing  ceased  for  that  day,  and  time  was 
afforded  us  to  procure  provisions  of  one  kind  or  another  ; 
sheep  were  killed,  roasted,  or  dressed  as  well  as  could 
be  done  under  such  circumstances.  Ball  cartridges  was 
what  our  army  stood  most  in  need  of ;  a  scanty  supply 
was,  however,  obtained  by  the  victory  at  Gorey.  The 
ammunition  that  was  found  in  the  Orange  houses  tnere, 
with  what  was  got  on  the  prisoners,  sufficed  to  raise  the 
spirits  of  the  men  and  make  them  wish  to  be  led  on  to 
new  attacks  and  to  other  towns  where  provisions  and 
ammunition  might  be  had. 

Garrett  Byrne  thought  a  march  first  towards  the  small 
town  of  Aughrim  advisable,  as  affording  the  men  cf  that 
neighbourhood  the  means  of  quitting  their  hiding-places, 
and  of  rejoining  their  corps.  He  counselled  afterwards 
a  march  back  to  the  county  of  Wexford,  in  order  to  give 
the  men  who  took  refuge  in  the  woods  of  Killaughrarn 
after  the  battle  of  Vinegar  Hill,  an  oppoitunity  of 
marching  from  those  woods  with  safety  in  spite  of 
General  Lake's  army  at  Enniscorthy  and  Wexford. 

It  was  during  those  marches  and  countermarches,  that 
the  undaunted  Father  Kearns,  some  days  later,  with  a 
large  body  of  men  whom  he  headed,  marched  out  from 
the  woods  of  Killaughrarn  and  rejoined  our  division. 
The  wound  which  he  received  defending  the  town  of 
Enniscorthy  on  the  2ist  of  June,  when  he  replaced  the 
brave  William  Barker  in  the  command  (he  who  had  his 


arm  carried  off),  was  still  far  from  being  in  a  healing 
state,  but  he  preferred  the  risk  of  being  killed  in  battle 
rather  than  to  be  found  hiding  and  then  to  be  shot  like 
a  dog. 

On  the  24th  of  June,  as  on  the  day  before,  there  was 
very  little  skirmishing ;  the  enemy's  cavalry  were  dis- 
persed by  our  gunsmen  in  every  attempt  they  made  to 
attack  us. 

On  entering  Aughrim  and  several  villages  of  the  neigh- 
bourhood, our  column  was  shocked  to  see  dead  bodies 
strewed  on  the  high  road.     These  unhappy  people  had 
been  murdered  a  day  or  two  before  by  the  cruel  yeomanry 
of  the  town  of  Rathdrum.     A  general  cry  of  indignation 
was  raised,  and  a  march  on  this  town  was  first  decided  on, 
but   Garrett  Byrne   thought   there  would  be   a  better 
chance  of  finding  ammunition  in  the  barracks  at  Hackets- 
town,  where,  by  the  private  information  he  had  just 
received  from  that  quarter,  he  learned  a  large  depot  of 
ball  cartridges  had  been  deposited  there  a  few  days 
before.     Of  course  there  was  no  time  to  be  lost.     So, 
early  in  the  morining  of  the  25th  of  June,  the  small  Irish 
army  left  its  bivouac  and  marched  to  attack  the  town 
and  barracks  of  Hacketstown,  and  during  the  march  the 
enemy's  cavalry  were  in  every  attack  which  they  made, 
repulsed  and  beaten  back  towards  the  town,  where  their 
infantry  was  drawn  up  in  line  in  a  field  just  outside  the 
place,  prepared  for  a  general  battle ;   but  our  pikemen 
in  this  instance  dashing  forward  in  the  most  resolute 
manner,  soon  threw  this  infantry  into  the  greatest  con- 
fusion, and  forced  them  to  retreat  and  abandon  their 
position.     After  leaving  Captain  Hardy  and  many  others 
dead  in  the  field,  they  took  refuge    in    the    barracks; 
whilst  the  English  cavalry  fled  and  escaped  through  the 
town  in  the  greatest  disorder  on  the  high  road  to  Tullow. 
The  town  being  thus  abandoned  offered  no  resistance, 
as  all  the  Orangemen  of  the  population  who  had  fire- 


arms  repaired  to  the  barracks  and  there  took  shelter  with 
the  English  troops.  A  general  attack  immediately  com- 
menced on  those  barracks  and  a  malt-house  adjoining  ; 
but  all  the  windows  and  doors  being  completely  barri- 
caded and  a  tremendous  fire  kept  up  from  within,  it 
became  necessary  to  use  every  kind  of  stratagem  to 
approach  it ;  feather  beds  were  brought,  loads  of  straw, 
etc.,  under  cover  of  which  the  men  expected  to  get  safe 
to  the  doors ;  but  unfortunately  numbers  were  killed  or 
wounded  in  those  attempts,  which  were  continually 
renewed  for  several  hours.  It  was  leading  one  of  those 
attacks  that  the  brave  Ned  Fennell  was  killed,  at  the 
head  of  the  men  he  had  so  often  led  on  to  victory.  The 
death  of  this  intrepid  young  man  threw  a  great  damp 
for  the  moment  over  those  who  saw  him  fall,  but  they 
soon  rallied  with  new  vigour  to  be  revenged  for  his  loss. 

Being  without  cannon,  it  could  not  be  expected  that 
the  garrison  would  in  fear  surrender  before  it  became 
dark  night.  Thenj,  indeed,  no  alternative  was  left  but  to 
be  burned,  or  to  escape  through  the  flames.  For  this 
purpose  it  was  resolved  to  wait  before  the  town  until 
night  came  on,  but  a  large  force  of  infantry  and  cavalry 
of  the  enemy  being  perceived  on  a  hill  at  some  distance 
during  the  action,  Garrett  Byrne  and  the  other  chiefs 
were  induced  to  relinquish  their  plan  of  a  night  attack. 
Accordingly,  orders  were  given  to  bury  the  dead  and  to 
have  all  the  wounded  carried  carefully  away  and  placed 
on  cars,  to  be  ready  to  march  in  the  centre  of  the 
column,  which  was  assembled,  and  set  out  in  the  direc- 
tion of  Baltinglass  and  Donard,  bringing  cattle  and  some 
sheep  to  serve  for  the  next  day's  provision.  Powder  and 
ball  were  found  in  some  of  the  houses  in  town,  but  in 
very  small  quantities ;  and  it  is  probable  that  had  the 
barracks  been  taken,  little  would  have  been  found  there 

The  English  troops  retreated  on  Tullow  the  moment 


they  found  our  army  had  raised  the  siege  and  marched 
away ;  of  course  they  carried  with  them  all  the  ammuni- 
tion which  had  been  deposited  in  the  barracks.  Thus 
terminated  the  attack  on  Hacketstown,  which  cost  so 
dearly.  A  better  result  might  have  been  hoped  for 
after  the  sacrifice  of  the  fine  fellows  who  fell  during  the 

The  next  day,  the  26th  of  June,  both  Edward  Fitz- 
gerald, Perry,  and  indeed  almost  all  the  chiefs  thought  it 
more  prudent  to  keep  in  the  Wicklow  mountains  on  the 
borders  of  the  county  of  Wexford,  to  afford  the  men  of 
this  county  a  rallying  point,  which  they  required,  having 
being  so  dispersed  after  the  battle  of  Vinegar  Hill ;  and 
in  consequence  of  this  resolution,  the  little  Irish  army 
marched  towards  Craghan  Hill ;  the  enemy's  cavalry 
from  Arklow,  Gorey,  and  other  towns,  were  continually 
seen  at  a  distance,  but  they  seldom  ventured  to  engage 
in  combat  with  our  men,  so  that  the  2/th  and  28th 
passed  with  very  little  skirmishing. 

Early  in  the  morning  of  the  2Qth  of  June  it  was 
resolved  to  march  and  attack  the  town  of  Carnew.  The 
column  was  halted  at  Monaseed  to  repose  and  take  some 
kind  of  refreshments,  which  were  indeed  difficult  to  be 
had,  as  every  house  had  been  plundered  by  the  English 
troops  on  their  way  to  Vinegar  Hill  a  few  days  before. 

The  Irish  column  resumed  its  march  on  the  high  road 
to  Carnew,  and  in  less  than  half  an  hour  after  its  de- 
parture a  large  division  of  English  cavalry  sent  from 
Gorey  by  General  Needham,  marched  into  Monaseed. 
This  division  consisted  of  the  notorious  Ancient  Britons, 
a  cavalry  regiment  which  had  committed  all  sorts  of 
crimes  when  placed  on  free  quarters  with  the  unfortunate 
inhabitants  previous  to  the  rising.  This  infernal  regi- 
ment was  accompanied  by  all  the  yeomen  cavalry  corps 
from  Arklow,  Gorey,  Coolgreany,  etc.,  and  the  chiefs  of 
those  corps,  such  as  Hunter  Gowan,  Beaumont  of  Hyde 


Park,  Earl  Mountnorris,  Earl  Courtown,  Ram,  Hawtry, 
White,  etc.,  could  boast  as  well  as  the  Ancient  Britons 
of  having  committed  cold-blooded  murders  on  an  un- 
armed country  people.  But  they  never  had  the  courage 
to  meet  us  on  the  field  of  battle,  as  will  be  seen  by  the 
dastardly  way  they  abandoned  the  Ancient  Britons  at 

The  officers  of  the  Ancient  Britons,  as  well  as  those  of 
the  yeomen  corps,  learned  that  the  Irish  forces  had  just 
marched  off  on  the  road  to  Carnew,  and  were  informed 
at  a  public  house  that  the  insurgents  who  had  been  there, 
were  complaining  how  they  were  fatigued  to  death  by 
the  continual  marching  and  countermarching,  and  that 
although  they  had  fire-arms,  their  ammunition  was  com- 
pletely exhausted,  and  scarce  a  ball  cartridge  remained 
in  their  army.  The  truth  of  this  information  could  not 
be  doubted ;  it  was  acquired  at  an  inn  or  public  house 
at  Monaseed  kept  by  the  widow  of  a  yeoman,  Mr.  James 
Moore,  cousin  to  Captain  Thomas  Grogan  Knox,  and 
who  was  killed  at  the  battle  of  Arklow  on  the  Qth  of 
June.  Grogan  was  killed  at  the  same  time  at  his  side. 
All  the  information  coming  through  so  sure  a  channel, 
encouraged  the  English  troops  to  pursue  without  delay 
the  insurgents,  and  to  cut  them  down  and  exterminate 
them  to  the  last  man,  for  they  could  not  resist  without 
ammunition.  The  Ancient  Britons  were  to  charge  on 
the  road,  whilst  the  yeomen  cavalry,  being  so  well 
mounted,  were  to  cover  the  flanks  and  to  march  through 
the  field ;  and  those  fox  hunters  promised  that  not  one 
Croppy  should  escape  their  vengeance. 

All  being  thus  settled,  and  plenty  of  whiskey  distri- 
buted to  the  English  soldiers,  the  march  to  overtake  the 
insurgents  commenced,  and  when  about  two  miles  from 
Monaseed,  at  Ballyellis,  one  mile  from  Carnew,  the 
Ancient  Britons  being  in  full  gallop  charging,  and  as 
they  thought,  driving  all  before  them,  to  their  great  sur- 


prise  were  suddenly  stopped  by  a  barricade  of  cars 
thrown  across  the  road,  and  at  the  same  moment  that 
the  head  of  the  column  was  thus  stopped,  the  rear  was 
attacked  by  a  mass  of  pikemen  who  sallied  out  from 
behind  a  wall,  and  completely  shut  up  the  road,  as  soon 
as  the  last  of  the  cavalry  had  passed.  The  remains  or 
ruins  of  an  old  deer  park  wall  on  the  right-hand  side  of 
the  road  ran  along  for  about  half  a  mile  ;  in  many  parts 
it  was  not  more  than  three  or  four  feet  high.  All  along 
the  inside  of  this  our  gunsmen  and  pikemen  were  placed. 
On  the  left  hand  side  of  the  road,  there  was  an  immense 
ditch  with  swampy  ground,  which  few  horses  could  be 
found  to  leap.  In  this  advantageous  situation  for  our 
men  the  battle  began ;  the  gunsmen,  half -covered,  firing 
from  behind  the  wall,  whilst  the  English  cavalry,  though 
well  mounted,  could  only  make  use  of  their  carbines  and 
pistols,  for  with  their  sabres  they  were  unable  to  ward 
off  the  thrusts  of  our  pikemen,  who  sallied  out  on  them 
in  the  most  determined  manner. 

Thus  in  less  than  an  hour  this  infamous  regiment, 
which  had  been  the  horror  of  the  country,  was  slain  to 
the  last  man,  as  well  as  the  few  yeomen  cavalry  who  had 
the  courage  to  take  part  in  the  action.  For  all  those  who 
quit  their  horses  and  got  into  the  fields  were  followed 
and  piked  on  the  marshy  ground  The  greater  part  of 
the  numerous  cavalry  corps  which  accompanied  the 
Ancient  Britons,  kept  on  a  rising  ground  to  the  right 
side  of  the  road  at  some  distance  during  the  battle,  and 
as  soon  as  the  result  of  it  was  known,  they  fled  in  the 
most  cowardly  way  in  every  direction,  both  dismayed 
and  disappointed  that  they  had  no  opportunity  on  this 
memorable  day  of  murdering  the  stragglers,  as  was  their 
custom  on  such  occasions.  I  say  "  memorable,"  for, 
during  the  war,  no  action  occurred  which  made  so  great 
a  sensation  in  the  country;  as  it  proved  to  the  enemy, 
that  whenever  our  pikemen  were  well  commanded  and 


kept  in  close  order,  they  were  invulnerable.  And,  besides, 
it  served  to  elate  the  courage  and  desire  of  our  men  to  be 
led  forthwith  to  new  combats. 

The  English  troops  that  marched  out  from  Carnew 
retreated  back  on  the  town  in  great  haste  when  they 
heard  of  the  defeat  of  the  Ancient  Britons  at  Ballyellis. 
The  infantry  finding  that  they  were  closely  pursued  by 
our  men,  barricaded  themselves  in  a  large  malt-house 
belonging  to  Bob  Blaney.  This  malt-house  was  spared 
at  the  time  of  the  first  attack  on  Carnew,  when  the 
greater  part  of  the  town  was  burned,  on  account  of  the 
upright  and  humane  conduct  of  the  owner,  Mr.  Blaney. 
Now  it  had  become  a  formidable  and  well  fortified  bar- 
rack, capable  of  holding  out  a  long  time,  particularly  as 
our  army  had  no  cannon  to  bring  to  bear  against  it. 
However,  it  was  instantly  attacked,  and  great  efforts 
made  to  dislodge  the  enemy,  who  kept  up  a  continual  fire 
from  all  the  windows ;  and,  as  at  Hacketstown,  every 
means  were  taken  to  approach  the  doors  under  the 
cover  of  beds,  straw,  etc.,  but  without  success,  as  the 
men  were  wounded  through  the  beds  and  straw  before 
they  could  reach  the  doors.  So  it  became  necessary  to 
wait  till  night  came  on,  when  the  garrison  which  occupied 
this  malt-house  would  have  had  no  other  alternative  left 
it  but  to  surrender  at  discretion  or  be  consumed  to  ashes. 

Edward  Fitzgerald  and  the  other  chiefs  deemed  it 
more  prudent,  however,  to  raise  the  siege  and  to  take  a 
military  position  on  Kilcavin  Hill  for  the  night,  rather 
than  remain  before  the  barracks  or  malt-house  ;  knowing 
well  that  General  Needham  who  commanded  the  English 
forces  at  Gorey,  as  also  the  English  troops  at  Ferns  and 
Newtownbarry,  would  make  a  forced  march  to  relieve 
Carnew,  and  if  possible  endeavour  to  obtain  some  kind 
of  revenge  for  the  destruction  of  their  favourite  Ancient 
Britons,  whom  they  so  cowardly  abandoned  at  Ballyellis 
to  their  dismal  and  well-earned  doom. 


The  horses  belonging  to  the  Ancient  Britons,  which 
were  taken  during  the  action,  were  of  little  use,  being 
mostly  badly  wounded ;  but  the  ammunition,  carbines, 
pistols  and  sabres  which  were  procured  by  this  victory 
roused  and  encouraged  the  men  to  wish  for  more  com- 
bats and  to  be  brought  against  the  enemy  in  the  open 
field,  now  that  they  had  a  better  supply  of  powder  and 
ball,  of  which  they  stood  in  such  need 

Another  and  a  still  greater  advantage  was  obtained  by 
this  victory;  it  made  the  prestige  or  illusion  vanish 
respecting  the  pre-eminence  or  superiority  of  the  English 
•cavalry,  in  a  country  so  hedged  and  fenced  with  all  kinds 
of  dikes  and  ditches  as  Ireland  is,  in  almost  every  county. 
With  these  obstacles,  the  different  chains  of  mountains 
would  considerably  add  to  the  difficulty  of  cavalry  acting 
against  pikemen.  Besides  this^  the  defeat  of  the  Ancient 
Britons  at  this  critical  moment  threw  the  slur  of  cowardice 
over  the  high  and  cruel  ascendancy,  as  well  as  on  all 
those  of  the  Orange  faction  who  had  so  shamefully 
abandoned  those  Ancient  Britons  in  the  hour  of  danger, 
with  whom  they  so  often  assisted  in  perpetrating  the 
cold-blooded  murders,  when  there  was  no  danger  to  be 
feared.  As  if  to  excuse  their  pusillanimity  they  asked 
Lord  Cornwallis  to  consider  the  Irish  who  fought  at  the 
battle  of  Ballyellis  as  guilty  of  murder,  and  thereby  to  be 
excluded  from  the  amnesty  or  pardon.  As  if  that  action 
were  more  criminal  than  the  others  during  the  war. 

At  an  early  hour  on  the  3Oth  of  June  the  Irish  division 
left  its  bivouac  at  Kilcavin  Hill  and  marched  in  the 
direction  of  Shillelagh  and  took  up  a  military  position  on 
Ballyraheen  Hill,  and  encamped  there  for  the  night.  The 
next  morning,  July  the  1st,  the  English  forces,  both 
cavalry  and  infantry,  were  seen  in  rapid  march  coming  to 
attack  the  Irish  camp  on  this  rising  ground ;  and  no 
doubt,  on  account  of  this  memorable  anniversary  of  the 
1st  of  July,  the  enthusiasm  of  the  Orange  yeomanry 


corps  was  greatly  augmented.  They  could  be  seen 
vicing  with  each  other  to  see  who  would  be  first  on  the 
hill  to  exterminate  the  Irish.  But  the  latter  soon  pre- 
pared for  battle,  and  met  them  before  they  had  time  to 
reach  the  top  of  the  hill,  and  began  a  most  successful 
attack  on  the  English  line.  Here  both  Irish  pikemen 
and  gunsmen  carried  all  before  them  with  unexampled 
impetuosity  and  bravery,  so  that  in  less  than  an  hour 
some  hundreds  of  the  enemy  lay  dead  and  wounded  on 
the  field  of  battle.  Amongst  the  dead  were  Captains 
Chamney  and  Nixon  of  the  Coolattin  and  Coolkenna 
corps.  Those  of  the  enemy  who  escaped  from  the  field  of 
action  fled  with  the  greatest  precipitation  in  all  direc- 
tions ;  their  infantry,  being  closely  pursued  by  our  pike- 
men,  was  forced  into  Chamney's  house  at  the  foot  of  the 
hill,  whilst  the  cowardly  cavalry,  being  well  mounted, 
disappeared  beyond  the  hills  in  an  instant 

Captain  Chamney's  mansion  now  became  a  fortress 
for  the  enemy  who  escaped,  it  being  isolated  and  slated, 
the  infantry  from  within  kept  up  a  galling  fire  on  our 
men,  who,  however,  attacked  it  with  their  usual  intrepi- 
dity, endeavouring  to  approach  and  storm  it  under  cover 
of  feather  beds,  etc.  Unfortunately,  at  this  siege,  as 
well  as  at  all  those  hitherto  attempted  in  the  same  way, 
numbers  of  our  bravest  men  fell  victims  to  their  courage 
before  the  garrison  could  be  dislodged  or  forced  to  sur- 
render, and  it  was  deemed  prudent  to  raise  the  siege  on 
account  of  the  want  of  artillery  and  the  danger  there 
might  be  in  delaying  too  long,  lest  our  men  engaged  in 
this  attack  might  be  surprised  during  the  night  by  the 
English  troops  then  presumed  to  be  coming  from  Tullow, 
Carnew,  Carlow,  etc.,  to  relieve  their  comrades  besieged 
in  Chamney's  house. 

Fitzgerald,  Garrett  Byrne,  and  the  other  chiefs,  after 
consulting  with  one  another,  ordered  the  division  to 
assemble,  and  when  all  the  men  could  be  rallied,  which 


was  more  difficult  at  night  to  be  done,  it  marched  off, 
greatly  elated  by  that  day's  victory,  in  the  direction  of 
Wicklow  Gap.  No  doubt  another  good  supply  of  ammu- 
nition and  fire-arms  was  obtained,  and  it  was  to  be  re- 
gretted that  the  siege  of  Chamney's  house  could  not  be 
continued,  as  there  a  better  supply  might  have  been 
gained.  But  night  attacks  being  attended  with  so  much 
risk  and  disorder,  should  be  avoided  if  possible. 

As  the  enemy  had  so  frequently  escaped  destruction 
by  taking  shelter  in  isolated,  slated  houses,  when  defeated 
in  the  open  field  by  our  pikemen,  it  became  necessary 
to  destroy  such  dwellings.  It  was  a  cruel  alternative, 
but  indispensable  after  the  losses  sustained  before 
Chamney's  house.  It  would  prevent  such  abodes  in 
future  becoming  strongholds  for  the  English  troops,  who 
certainly  never  scrupled  burning  and  destroying  all  the 
thatched  houses  of  the  poor  Irish,  though  they  offered  no 
means  of  defence  to  our  forces,  who  always  preferred 
coming  to  close  quarters  with  the  enemy  in  the  open  field, 
where  our  pikemen  could  be  advantageously  brought 
into  action,  as  they  were  on  Ballyraheen  Hill,  when  the 
English  line  could  not  resist  a  moment  the  first  charge 
of  those  intrepid  pikemen. 

In  consequence  of  this  victory,  as  well  as  that  of  Bally- 
ellis,  it  was  to  be  expected  that  General  Lake,  when 
apprised  of  those  victories,  would  order  all  the  English 
forces  he  commanded  in  the  counties  of  Wexford  and 
Carlow  to  march  to  the  barony  of  Shillelagh  to  attack 
our  army  there.  The  Irish  generals,  to  avoid  a 
general  battle  as  long  as  possible,  ordered  a 
rapid  march  towards  Wicklow  Gap  and  the  White 
Heaps,  where  the  division  arrived  and  bivouacked 
on  the  2nd  of  July,  having  had  very  little  skir- 
mishing with  the  enemy  during  the  march,  as  their 
cavalry  was  keeping  at  a  great  distance  and  escaping 
whenever  our  mounted  men  approached  them. 


Early  on  the  morning  of  the  3rd  of  July  the  Irish  army 
marched  to  the  Gold  Mines,  and  after  burning  the 
English  camp  which  had  been  formed  there  in  1795,  and 
which  was  mostly  composed  of  wooden  barracks,  it  re- 
turned by  the  White  Heaps  and  bivouacked  near  Ford's 
mansion  of  Ballyfad,  the  home  of  Anthony  Perry's 
father-in-law.  Inch,  the  residence  of  poor  Perry,  being 
close  by,  he  could  visit  there  for  the  last  time  all  that 
was  dear  to  him,  and  take  a  melancholy  view  of  his  own 
handsome  place. 

Our  camp  at  Ballyfad  being  in  the  proximity  of 
Arklow,  Gorey,  and  other  towns,  where  the  English 
forces  were  concentrated,  it  was  expected  soon  to  meet 
them  in  battle,  for  which  our  men  were  now  better 
prepared,  on  account  of  the  supply  of  arms  and  ammu- 
nition procured  by  our  late  victories.  Besides,  numbers 
of  the  brave  men  who  had  been  fighting  at  Castlecomer, 
Scollagh  Gap,  etc.,  belonging  to  the  division  which  was 
commanded  by  Father  John  Murphy,  rejoined  their  com- 
rades here ;  and  Father  Moses  Kearns,  at  the  head  of 
vast  numbers  coming  from  the  woods  of  Killaughram 
arrived,  so  that  our  Irish  army  mustered  again  pretty 
strong,  and  notwithstanding  the  irreparable  loss  of  the 
many  fine  leaders  killed  in  the  different  actions,  such  as 
Ned  Fennell,  Johnny  Doyle,  Michael  Redmond,  Dan 
Kervin,  etc.,  and  all  those  also  who  abandoned  their  men 
and  remained  in  Wexford  county,  on  the  amnesty  to  be 
obtained  through  the  interference  of  the  vile  Lord 
Kingsborough.  Yet  intrepid  chiefs  were  not  wanting. 
We  had  still  at  our  head,  Garrett  Byrne,  Edward  Fitz- 
gerald, Anthony  Perry,  Esmond  Kyan,  Edward  Roche, 

I  have  mentioned  in  the  preceding  chapter  how  I  met 
and  joined  the  Irish  division  on  its  way  back  from  the 
Gold  Mines,  and  that  I  was  accompanied  by  my  brother 
Hugh  and  many  other  brave  fellows,  who  never  left  me 


during  our  long  and  perilous  march  from  Scollagh  Gap. 
I  will  now  relate  what  took  place  at  our  bivouac  the 
same  night  near  Ballyfad,  where  I  met  poor  Nick 
Murphy,  suffering  from  an  accident ;  he  had  his  foot 
sprained  by  a  fall  he  got,  which  obliged  him  to  ride 
behind  a  man  on  a  woman's  pillion.  In  this  state  he 
could  not  be  expected  to  exert  himself  much,  and  the 
Monaseed  corps,  to  which  we  both  belonged,  having^ 
lost  so  many  of  its  best  officers,  the  command  of  it  was 
entrusted  to  me,  which  flattered  me  not  a  little,  as  I  was 
well  known  from  my  infancy  to  all  those  brave  fellows 
who  composed  it. 


At  the  dawn  of  day,  after  our  reconnoitring  parties 
returned,  our  army  was  roused  from  its  slumber,  and 
left  its  bivouac  to  go  and  take  a  military  position  on  an 
eminence  just  near  and  over  Ballyfad.  I  was  at  the  head 
of  our  column  with  Esmond  Kyan  and  other  officers  who 
were  going  to  choose  out  the  situation,  when  all  at  once 
reaching  this  rising  ground,  we  found  ourselves  en- 
veloped in  a  thick  fog,  which,  as  we  advanced,  became  so 
dense,  that  it  was  impossible  to  distinguish  any  object 
at  twenty  feet  distance,  and  after  marching  some  time  in 
this  obscurity,  we  at  length  heard  a  discharge,  or  volley 
of  musketry,  the  balls  of  which  came  whistling  over  our 
heads  and  through  our  ranks.  We  knew,  of  course,  that 
this  discharge  came  from  the  enemy's  advanced  guard, 
frightened,  no  doubt,  hearing  the  noise  of  our  approach. 
This  discharge  was  made  to  give  the  alarm  to  their  troops 
who  were  following,  for  they  must  have  feared  falling 
into  an  ambuscade  on  account  of  the  fog.  But  be  that  as 
it  might,  we  returned  back  immediately  to  Ballyfad  and 
took  another  direction  until  the  fog  should  disappear 


and  the  day  become  brighter,  in  order  to  distinguish  the 
force  of  the  enemy  we  should  have  to  encounter. 

In  returning,  or  wheeling  about,  after  we  had  heard 
the  volley  of  musketry,  Esmond  Kyan's  horse  stumbled 
and  fell  to  the  ground,  whether  from  a  wound  or  accident 
we  could  not  see,  on  account  of  the  darkness,  but  he 
leaped  from  the  saddle,  and  on  one  of  our  men  offering 
him  his  horse,  he  refused,  but  bade  him  keep  his  foot 
stiff  in  the  stirrup  and  to  turn  it  out  a  little ;  he  then  put 
his  foot  on  the  horseman's  foot  and  jumped  behind  him 
in  the  most  dexterous  manner,  notwithstanding  the  want 
of  his  arm. 

In  retracing  our  way  back  down  the  hill,  we  met 
numbers  of  our  men  going  astray  from  the  main  body, 
on  account  of  the  fog.  However,  all  soon  fell  into  their 
ranks,  and  the  division  moved  on  in  perfect  order  on  the 
high  road  leading  to  Gorey,  and  after  marching  about  a 
mile  in  this  direction,  the  fog  began  to  disappear  rmd  the 
morning  became  bright,  when  all  at  once  we  perceived  a 
large  division  of  the  English  army,  horse,  foot,  and  artil- 
lery following  our  column,  and  at  about  two  musket  shots 
distant  from  our  rear  guard.  General  Sir  James  Duff 
commanded  this  English  division,  and  it  appeared  evident 
that  as  he  did  not  accelerate  his  march  to  attack  our 
column,  he  expected  General  Needham's  and  other 
divisions  to  come  up  to  his  assistance  before  he  risked 
battle.  Besides,  our  division  marching  in  such  perfect 
order,  must  have  shown  him  how  formidable  it  was :  the 
men  perfectly  calm,  anxious  for  the  order  to  be  given 
to  halt  and  begin.  They  were  continually  looking 
behind  them  at  the  mass  of  red  coats,  glittering  arms  and 
banners  which  were  following  on  the  same  road  we  were 
passing  over.  They  were  flanked  by  a  numerous  cavalry 
which  never  attempted  to  charge  our  men  in  the  rear. 
All  this  proved  to  our  generals  that  Sir  James  Duff  was 
only  waiting  for  reinforcements,  consequently  they  at 


once  decided  to  risk  a  general  action,  and  after  our 
column  had  made  more  than  two  miles  on  the  Gorey 
road,  it  turned  to  the  rigit  by  a  narrow  cross  road  Vadin^ 
to  the  townland  of  Ballvgullen  and  then  -oioceedrng  for 
about  a  mile  in  this  direction,  and  seeing  the  English 
army  still  following  and  at  the  same  distance,  our  gene- 
rals ordered  the  column  to  halt  and  to  form  the  line  of 
battle  the  best  way  we  could,  which  was  instantly 
executed  with  great  skill ;  our  gunsmen  taking  position 
and  placing  themselves  behind  fences  on  both  sides  of 
the  road,  whilst  a  part  of  our  pikemen,  with  some  well 
mounted  men  at  their  head,  had  the  appearance  of  con- 
tinuing the  march  in  the  usual  way,  which  induced  the 
English  cavalry  to  advance  and  follow  as  they  had  been 
doing  all  the  morning,  without  further  precaution. 

Our  men  who  were  placed  behind  the  fences,  allowed 
this  body  of  cavalry  to  approach  very  near  their  line, 
and  it  was  intended  even  to  let  them  pass  on,  and  to  get 
them  between  two  fires,  but  the  impatience  of  our  marks- 
men could  not  be  restrained  any  longer,  and  they  com- 
menced a  well-directed  fire  on  the  cavalry,  which  was 
soon  thrown  into  great  disorder  and  fled  away,  after 
having  great  numbers  killed  and  wounded. 

General  Duff  seeing  his  advanced  guard  of  cavalry 
attacked  and  dispersed  so  suddenly,  marched  rapidly 
forward  with  all  his  forces  and  deployed  his  column  ;  and 
then  commenced  the  battle  of  Ballygullen,  the  last 
regular  one  we  fought  in  the  county  of  Wexford,  and 
where  the  greatest  bravery  and  generalship  was  dis- 
played. Our  gunsmen  boldly  kept  their  position  under 
the  heaviest  fire ;  and  as  they  were  good  marksmen, 
every  shot  either  killed  or  wounded  some  of  the  enemy, 
and  they  continued  this  fire  until  their  last  cartridge  was 
spent.  It  was  only  then  that  the  want  of  the  pikemen 
was  felt;  they  should  have  been  placed  in  the  first 
instance  with  the  gunsmen  behind  the  fences,  so  as  to 


have  had  but  a  short  way  to  sally  out  and  charge  the 
enemy.  However,  to  remedy  this  omission,  a  large  body 
of  pikemen,  headed  by  Perry,  Garrett  Byrne,  Fitzgerald, 
and  indeed  by  almost  all  the  chiefs,  were  marched  to 
turn  the  left  flank  of  General  Duff's  army  and  to  inter- 
cept his  communication  with  Gorey,  from  which  place  he 
expected  reinforcements.  To  avoid  being  turned,  he  had 
to  fall  back  on  the  Gorey  road. 

Thus  so  far  our  generals  by  this  prompt  manoeuvre  of 
the  pikemen  succeeded  in  making  the  enemy  quit  the 
field.  But  knowing  that  other  English  divisions  would 
soon  arrive  to  General  Duff's  assistance,  they  were 
prevented  availing  themselves  of  the  advantage  obtained, 
which  they  otherwise  might  easily  have  done,  had  they 
not  been  obliged  to  rally  our  men,  and  prepare  to  meet 
the  enemy  coming  from  Caraew,  Ferns,  and  other 

We  had  vast  numbers  killed  and  wounded,  no  doubt, 
in  this  battle,  which  lasted  two  hours,  fought  with  equal 
bravery  on  both  sides. 

General  Duff's  infantry  availed  themselves  also  of  the 
hedges  and  fences,  and  they  did  not  want  ammunition 
as  our  gunsmen  did ;  but  finally,  though  our  pikemen 
did  not  do  all  they  might  have  done  in  this  battle,  they 
powerfully  contributed  to  the  success  of  the  day  by  the 
imposing,  formidable,  close  order  they  observed  during 
the  action,  and  General  Duff  knew  well  his  troops  could 
not  resist  a  charge  from  those  intrepid  pikemen.  He 
therefore  fell  back  on  the  Gorey  road,  whilst  our 
generals,  after  getting  the  wounded  carried  away,  gave 
orders  to  rally  and  make  a  halt  on  a  rising  ground,  about 
half  a  mile  from  the  field  of  battle,  to  afford  time  to  our 
men  who  were  in  the  rear  to  arrive  and  rejoin  their 
respective  corps,  which  they  did  at  their  ease,  not  being 
followed  by  the  enemy's  cavalry,  who  had  been  so  badly 
treated  in  the  commencement  of  the  action  that  they 
completely  disappeared  out  of  our  view. 


On  crossing  the  field  of  battle,  and  whilst  endeavouring 
to  get  the  wounded  men  carried  off,  Ned  Doyle,  a  very 
brave  man,  who  had  for  many  years  been  a  servant  at 
our  house,  and  who  had  been  wounded  by  my  side  at 
the  battle  of  Tubberneering  on  the  4th  of  June,  being 
now  recovered  from  his  wound,  and  remaining  with  me 
as  usual,  all  at  once  perceived  his  father  lying  amongst 
the  dead,  holding  his  pike  in  his  hand.  The  unfortunate 
man,  having  a  wen  or  tumour  as  large  as  a  cannon  ball 
under  his  ear,  could  be  distinguished  at  a  great  distance. 
Upon  this  sight  the  son  became  frantic  and  half  mad, 
and  afterwards  we  had  often  the  greatest  trouble  to 
prevent  him  killing  any  prisoner  he  could  approach. 
We  endeavoured  to  make  him  feel  that  as  his  father  was 
killed  in  battle,  and  not  murdered  in  cold  blood,  he  should 
not  retaliate  his  death  on  the  prisoners.  His  mind  was 
quite  unhinged,  and  it  became  useless  to  remonstrate 
with  him.  He  escaped,  however,  and  I  met  him  the, 
year  after  in  Dublin.  When  I  come  to  relate  what 
occurred  to  myself  in  that  city,  I  shall  have  to  mention 
other  incidents  respecting  this  unfortunate  man,  who, 
I  understand,  will  figure  one  day  as  the  hero  of  a  romance. 
It  is  on  account  of  this  that  I  here  relate  these  facts  con- 
cerning him,  in  order  that  the  readers  of  the  romance 
may  know  how  to  appreciate  the  merits  of  the  production. 

It  was  during  the  short  repose  our  army  took  after  the 
battle,  that  I  had  the  last  conversation  with  the  ever-to- 
be-lamented  Anthony  Perry.  He  was  lying  on  the 
ground  when  I  came  up,  holding  his  horse  by  the  bridle  ; 
I  sat  down  beside  him,  holding  mine  in  the  same  manner. 
He  seemed  much  exhausted  and  fatigued.  We  spoke  of 
poor  Ned  Fennell's  death  at  Hacketstown.  It  was  this 
brave  man  who  first  introduced  me  to  Mr.  Perry  the  year 
before,  during  the  organization  of  the  United  Irishmen, 
in  which  they  both  took  such  a  lively  interest. 

In  consequence  of  being  suspected  on  this  head,  Perry 


became  one  of  the  first  victims  of  the  cruel  torture  in- 
vented by  Lord  Kingsborough  of  the  North  Cork  Militia. 
He  was  still  suffering  from  the  effects  of  the  application 
of  the  terrible  pitch-cap  which  had  carried  off  both  the 
hair  and  the  skin  from  his  head;  and  though  it  was 
more  than  a  month  since  this  intolerable  torture  had 
been  applied,  his  head  remained  scalded,  and  the  hair 
not  yet  grown. 

I  asked  him  what  plan  we  should  now  follow.  To 
which  he  answered,  that  Edward  Fitzgerald,  Garrett 
Byrne,  and  indeed  all  the  leaders,  were  of  opinion  that 
it  would  be  madness  to  remain  longer  in  the  county  of 
Wexford,  overrun  as  it  was  then  with  the  English  troops, 
and  where  General  Lake  had  at  his  disposal  not  only 
his  own  army,  but  the  forces  of  the  adjacent  towns  of 
Carlow,  Tullow,  Newtownbarry,  Carnew,  etc.  Conse- 
quently, it  was  resolved  on  to  march  to  the  Wicklow 
mountains  and  there  manoeuvre  and  gain  time  until 
something  in  the  way  of  supplies  of  arms  and  ammuni- 
tion came  from  France,  or  some  other  quarter 

When  our  men  were  rested  and  rallied,  we  marched  off 
on  the  Ferns  road,  as  if  to  attack  that  town,  then  occu- 
pied by  an  English  division,  which  had  been  marching 
to  attack  us,  but  retrograded  as  soon  as  the  news  of 
General  Duff's  defeat  reached  it.  It  is  curious  to  remark, 
we  neither  saw  their  scouting  parties  the  remainder  of 
the  day,  either  in  front,  rear,  or  on  our  flanks ;  they 
were,  however,  certainly  prepared  to  receive  us  in  their 
garrison  strongholds  had  we  proceeded  to  attack  them ; 
but  we  continued  our  march  on  the  Ferns  road  until  we 
passed  Craneford ;  then  we  turned  to  the  right,  leaving 
Carnew  on  our  left  hand,  passing  by  Buckstown  House, 
where  I  saw  my  dear  mother  and  sister  for  an  instant 
only.  They  were  there  with  the  Fennell  family  and 
many  other  females  who  had  to  take  refuge  in  this 
mansion,  which  belonged  to  Ralph  Blayney  of  Carnew. 


By  this  time  it  was  getting  dark,  and  as  I  was  marching 
with  the  rearguard,  I  had  to  take  a  sudden  and  painful 
farewell  of  my  dear  mother  and  sister.  They  told  me 
that  my  brother  Hugh  had  just  marched  by  with  the 
main  body ;  this  was  indeed  agreeable  news  to  me,  for 
I  had  not  seen  him  since  the  battle. 

It  being  now  resolved  on  to  make  a  night  march,  in 
order  to  baffle  the  enemy,  our  column  marched  on  to 
Wingfield,  leaving  Hillbrook  to  the  left,  and  Connahill 
to  the  right,  proceeding  thus  on  the  road  to  Kilpipe  and 
Aughrim,  the  straight  way  to  Glenmalure  and  the 
Wicklow  mountains.  I  wish  to  be  particular  about 
tracing  this  route,  as  it  was  said  by  some  of  the  histo- 
rians of  the  insurrection,  that  our  division  after  the  battle 
of  Ballygullen  marched  to  Carrigrew  and  there  dispersed 
itself.  Such  false  information  could  not  have  been 
furnished  by  any  of  the  brave  fellows  who  fought  at  that 
battle ;  it  could  only  have  been  obtained  from  some  of 
those  who  remained  hiding,  waiting  the  result  of  Lord 
Kingsborough's  negotiations  with  General  Lake  in  their 
favour.  Or  perhaps  it  was  surmised  by  the  fanciful 
writer  himself,  who,  in  the  page  following,  has  this  same 
division  of  our  army  marching  under  the  command  of 
Garrett  Byrne,  Fitzgerald,  and  the  other  generals,  to 
join  William  Aylmer  in  the  county  of  Kildare. 

So  far  from  thinking  of  dispersing,  our  men  were 
flushed  with  the  hope  that  something  good  was  still  in 
store  for  them,  and  I  never  saw  them  march  and  keep 
together  better  than  they  did  all  this  day,  both  before 
the  battle  and  after  it  And  as  this  was  the  last  pitched 
battle  we  fought  against  the  British  army  in  the  county 
of  Wexford,  I  feel  it  but  justice  to  say  that  I  never  saw 
more  bravery  displayed  than  was  shown  on  this  occasion 
by  our  leaders  and  men,  nor  greater  cowardice  than  was 
exhibited  the  whole  day  by  the  English  cavalry,  which 
kept  continually  away  out  of  the  danger.  It  is  true 


General  Duff's  infantry  fought  well ;  but  General  Need- 
ham  and  the  numerous  corps  of  yeomanry  cavalry  which 
he  commanded,  showed  the  white  feather  on  this  occa- 
sion, fortunately  for  us ;  for  our  march  was  not  in  the 
least  obstructed  by  those  staunch  supporters  of  the  cruel 
ascendancy  which  then  misgoverned  poor  Ireland. 

I  have  endeavoured  in  this  chapter,  as  well  as  in  the 
preceding  ones,  to  relate  in  the  simplest  way  I  could,  all 
our  proceedings  throughout  this  campaign,  from  its 
commencement  on  Whit-Saturday,  the  26th  of  May, 
1798,  up  to  this  day,  the  4th  of  July,  1798,  which  nearly 
comprises  all  the  principal  battles  and  combats  that  took 
place  during  that  period,  with  the  exception,  however, 
of  those  of  Ross,  Longraig,  and  the  attack  on  Kava- 
nagh's  house  at  Borris.  I  was  not  present  at  those 
battles,  but  I  passed  over  the  battlefield  at  Longraig,  the 
second  day  after  the  action,  the  22nd  of  June,  and  I 
conversed  with  many  of  the  brave  fellows  who  had 
fought  both  there  and  at  Ross;  and  from  all  I  could 
ever  learn  since  on  the  subject,  the  best  and  truest 
account  of  those  battles  is  contained  in  the  courageous 
Thomas  Cloney's  short  personal  narrative  ;  he  being  one 
of  the  leaders,  and  much  beloved  by  the  brave  men  who 
followed  him,  and  telling  modestly,  as  he  does,  all  the 
transactions  in  which  he  took  such  an  active  share  in 
that  part  of  the  county  of  Wexford  bordering  on  the 
town  of  Ross,  his  version  may  be  relied  on. 

As  the  next  chapter  will  contain  my  campaign  in  the 
Wicklow  mountains^  I  must  conclude  this  by  again  and 
again  repeating,  that  if  our  brave  county  of  Wexford 
marksmen  had  been  supplied  with  sufficient  war  muni- 
tion, they  would  have  manoeuvred  in  those  mountains 
and  have  mustered  still  very  strong  when  the  French 
landed  in  August,  in  spite  of  General  Lake  and  all  the 
forces  he  could  bring  against  us ;  but  the  want  of  ammu- 
nition was  our  misfortune ;  it  was  seeking  for  it  which 


induced  us  to  attack  so  many  towns,  where  we  suffered 
such  severe  losses,  all  of  which  would  have  been  avoided 
had  we  had  plenty  of  powder  and  ball.  Alas!  we  had 
no  friendly  foreign  countries  to  furnish  us  with  those 
treasures  so  necessary  for  carrying  on  a  war  of  inde- 
pendence, and  such  as  the  Greeks  received  in  their 
struggle,  from  every  country  in  Europe  as  well  as  from 

Before  I  conclude,  I  must  mention  my  interview  with 
poor  Ned  Fennell's  father ;  it  was  indeed  very  painful 
He  and  his  two  daughters  were  standing  on  the  road- 
side, with  my  dear  mother  and  sister,  when  we  were 
marching  by  Buckstown  House ;  this  worthy  man  had 
brought  them  there,  as  the  surest  place  of  refuge.  It 
was  the  first  time  I  had  seen  him  since  his  son  Ned's 
death ;  he  seemed  to  be  bearing  up  against  this 
last  misfortune  better  than  could  be  expected. 
He  said  to  me :  "  My  son  Ned  has  died  the  death  of 
the  brave  on  the  battlefield,  whilst  poor  Garrett,  my 
eldest  son,  and  the  father  of  three  children,  was  murdered 
in  cold  blood  by  that  monster  Hunter  Gowan  and  his 
Orange  yeomanry,  previous  to  the  rising." 

Poor  Mr.  Fennell's  great  anxiety  was  to  find  out  some 
one  who  could  point  out  the  spot  where  his  son  was  in- 
terred at  Hacketstown  the  day  of  the  battle,  as  he  wished 
to  have  him  brought  and  buried  beside  his  mother  and 
brother  in  the  family  burying  ground.  Two  months 
later  when  there  was  less  danger,  a  young  lady,  Miss 
Doyle  of  Knockbrandon,  volunteered  to  accompany  Mr. 
Fennell  on  this  melancholy  mission,  and  pointed  out  to 
him  the  grave  where  his  splendid  son  was  buried  during 
the  action.  This  young  lady  was  his  cousin  and  loved 
him  like  a  brother. 

When  we  consider  the  immense  preparations  the 
British  Government  had  to  makCj  and  the  vast  number 
of  troops  employed  to  reduce  a  single  county,  it  must  be 


allowed  that  our  little  United  army  in  the  Wexford  cam- 
paigri  could  only  be  reduced  by  an  overwhelming  force ; 
and  what  would  have  been  the  consequence  to  England 
had  ten  other  counties  raised  the  standard  of  indepen- 
dence at  the  same  time,  and  had  succeeded  as  the 
county  of  Wexford  had  done? 

I  have  been  frequently  asked  if  our  failure  was  not  in 
a  great  measure  to  be  attributed  to  the  want  of  officers 
who  had  seen  service.  Certainly,  experienced,  brave 
military  officers  are  the  soul  of  every  army,  and  no  one 
can  esteem  or  appreciate  their  great  worth  more  than  I 
do.  But  it  was  a  depot  of  military  stores  which  we 
wanted  most,  for  we  had  a  host  of  leaders  who  displayed 
talents  of  the  first  order  for  the  field. 


I  HAVE  endeavoured  to  show  in  the  preceding  chapter 
how  the  scarcity  of  ammunition  and  the  utter  despair  of 
obtaining  fresh  supplies  of  any  kind  was  one  of  the 
principal  causes  for  marching  after  the  battle  of  Bally- 
gullen  to  the  Wicklow  mountains,  there  to  wait  and 
defend  ourselves  the  best  way  we  could,  until  something 
might  occur  to  better  our  situation.  I  must  here  add. 
that  the  next  great  cause  was  the  privations  which  began 
to  be  sorely  felt  in  the  county  of  Wexford,  already 
ravaged  in  all  directions,  the  old  provisions  being  wholly 
consumed,  and  the  new  crops  far  from  fit  for  use  at  this 
season  of  the  year,  the  4th  of  July.  As  to  cattle,  though 
we  could  procure  some,  we  seldom  could  halt  and  wait 
a  sufficient  time  to  have  them  killed  and  the  meat  cooked 
for  eating.  When  I  look  back,  I  am  really  astonished 
how  we  bore  up  against  hunger  and  fatigue  ;  particularly 
so  on  the  day  of  the  battle  of  Ballygullen,  which  began 
at  daylight,  and  with  marching,  counter-marching,  and 
fighting,  only  terminated  with  a  weary  night  march,  the 
worst  of  all,  and  which  should  be  avoided  as  much  as 
possible,  as  the  men  from  fatigue  throw  themselves  on 
the  ground,  and  there  sleep  until  they  are  surprised  by 
the  enemy ;  or,  when  they  awake,  often  take  wrong 
directions  to  rejoin  their  columns.  Although  our  march 
was  not  impeded  by  the  enemy  following  us,  yet  our  long 
fast  caused  numbers  to  go  right  and  left  seeking  for 
something  to  eat  And  here  I  will  mention  what 
occurred  to  myself.  A  very  brave,  fine  young  fellow  of 
the  name  of  Tom  Woodburn,  who  was  well  mounted, 
rode  up  to  me  on  the  road  after  we  had  passed  Kilpipe, 
and  proposed  to  me  to  go  to  my  step-sister's  at  Bally- 


temple,  a  mile  off ;  he  was  acquainted  with  her  father- 
in-law  Mr.  Doyle,  and  he  said  he  would  stop  at  this 
gentleman's  house  whilst  I  could  go  to  my  sister's,  which 
was  only  at  two  fields'  distance,  and  that  we  could  meet 
in  the  morning.  I  reluctantly  consented  I  feared  that 
my  brother-in-law,  who  had  taken  no  part  in  the  insur- 
rection, might  be  injured  by  my  visit.  He  was  the  father 
of  six  children,  the  eldest  of  them  only  ten  years  old. 
How  cruel  it  would  have  been  had  these  poor  innocent 
creatures  been  left  fatherless  on  my  account.  Certainly 
their  father  ran  the  chance  of  being  either  shot  or  trans- 
ported, had  I  been  found  in  his  house.  I  cannot  help 
adding  that  it  is  one  of  the  acts  of  my  life  which  frets 
me  most,  when  I  look  back  and  think  how  I  agreed  to 
accompany  Woodburn.  As  he  proposed,  he  stopped  at 
Mr.  Doyle's,  and  I  went  to  my  sister's  house.  She  and 
her  husband  were  preparing  to  go  to  bed,  and  how  they 
were  terrified  when  they  saw  me  is  beyond  description. 
They  told  me  that  scarcely  a  day  had  passed  since  the 
battle  of  Arklow  without  their  place  being  visited  by  the 
yeomen  cavalry  from  that  town,  and  that  they  were  quite 
sure  to  see  them  next  day. 

After  eating  something,  which  indeed  I  much  needed, 
I  retired  to  one  of  the  outhouses  ;  not  the  stable,  for  that 
would  be  the  first  place  which  the  cavalry  would  enter, 
to  see  if  there  were  any  horses  that  would  answer  them. 
I  soon  fell  sound  asleep,  unconscious  of  my  dangerous 
situation.  At  the  dawn  of  day  my  poor  sister  (who  had 
passed  the  night  watching  and  listening  whilst  I  slept), 
awoke  me  and  brought  me  to  a  little  distance  from  the 
house  to  look  at  some  object  which  was  on  a  hill  opposite 
I  saw  at  once  a  horseman  or  "vedette,"  quite  plainly, 
and  at  the  same  time  we  heard  the  noise  of  cavalry 
coming  up  from  the  valley  to  the  house.  My  sister,  with 
great  presence  of  mind,  pointed  out  to  me  the  way  to 
escape ;  one  minute  later  I  was  shot,  or  a  prisoner.  I 


•crossed  a  field  and  got  over  a  high  fence,  which  divided 
my  brother-in-law's  land  from  that  of  Mr.  Graham  of 
Ballycoog.  I  there  remained  concealed,  till  my  dear 
sister  came  in  about  an  hour  after  and  called  me  and  told 
me  that  the  danger  was  over  for  the  moment,  that  the 
Orange  cavalry  had  visited  every  part  of  their  dwelling, 
out-houses,  etc.,  and  that  poor  Thomas  Woodburn  was 
taken  prisoner  at  her  father-in-law's  house,  that  he  was 
tied  neck  and  heels  and  carried  off  to  Arklow,  or  perhaps 
shot  on  the  way.  All  this  was  very  sad  tidings  to  me, 
but  there  was  no  help  for  such  misfortunes.  I  begged 
her  to  send  and  tell  a  young  man,  a  tailor  of  the  name 
•of  Larry  Lorgan  who  had  been  wounded  at  the  battle 
of  Arklow,  and  remained  sick,  hiding  in  the  woods  ever 
since,  that  I  wished  to  see  him.  He  came  immediately 
to  me,  and  we  agreed  that  he  should,  in  the  course  of  the 
day,  apprize  all  those  who  were  hiding  and  who  wished 
to  join  our  army  to  assemble  late  in  the  evening,  and  that 
J  would  undertake  to  conduct  them  to  our  camp,  which 
should  be  on  the  way  to  Glenmalure.  At  dusk  he 
brought  to  the  rendezvous  ten  or  twelve  poor  fellows 
badly  armed,  but  determined  to  fight  their  way.  Not 
being  provided  with  any  kind  of  provisions  for  the  road, 
it  was  thought  right  that  four  or  five  of  them,  previous 
tc  setting  off,  should  call  at  Mr.  Graham's  house  at  Bally- 
coog, and  endeavour  to  get  some  bread  or  other  provi- 
sions. Fearing  that  they  might  exact,  or  ask  for 
unnecessary  things,  or  that  any  harm  should  be  done  to 
Mr.  William  Graham's  house,  I  accompanied  them  there. 
His  cousin  John  gave  these  poor  fellows  a  loaf  of  bread 
and  half  a  bottle  of  whiskey,  for  which  they  were  very 
thankful.  He  very  ungraciously  complained  next  day 
to  my  sister  of  my  having  headed  these  men  to  the 
house.  He  ought  to  have  been  grateful  to  me  for  accom- 
panying them  there,  which  I  did  that  they  might  do  no 
injury  to  the  place,  or  take  away  what  was  useless. 


When  speaking  to  me  he  seemed  quite  penetrated  with 
the  goodness  of  my  motives.  But  such  were  the  times, 
he  feared  the  very  fact  of  the  house  not  having  been 
burned  would  be  enough  to  compromise  him  and  his 
cousin  Willie  Graham,  who  was  absent  at  Dublin,  with 
the  English  party.  I  took  leave  of  my  poor  sister,  and 
set  out  with  my  small  detachment ;  all  of  them  seemed 
delighted  to  get  away  from  the  misery  they  had  under- 
gone in  hiding,  and  cheered  with  the  prospect  of  again 
joining  the  main  body.  They  almost  all  knew  the 
country  we  had  to  march  through,  so  we  were  in  no  need 
of  guides.  We  were  joined  on  the  way  by  many  of  our 
men  who  had  remained  behind  from  fatigue ;  and  par- 
ticularly at  Aughrim  several  fine  fellows  came  from  their 
hiding-places  and  marched  with  us,  but  still  we  could 
not  learn  positively  what  direction  our  main  body,  com- 
manded by  Garrett  Byrne,  Perry,  Fitzgerald,  etc.,  had 
taken,  so  we  resolved  at  once  to  fight  our  way  to  Glen- 
malure.  The  night  was  advanced,  and  when  daylight 
came  we  perceived  at  some  distance  a  large  body  of  the 
enemy's  cavalry  in  the  valley  which  we  had  begun  to 
cross.  We  instantly  returned  and  took  a  position  on  an 
eminence  or  high  ground  some  hundred  steps  in  the  rear 
and  with  a  good  fence  in  front  There  we  formed  our 
little  line  of  battle,  and  though  we  had  few  fire-arms  fit 
for  use,  still  our  pikemen,  showing  their  terrible  weapon 
to  advantage,  the  cowardly  cavalry  feared  to  approach 
us.  Three  or  four  of  them  rode  into  a  corn-field  in  fron; 
of  where  we  were  drawn  up,  there  discharged  their  car- 
bines and  then  galloped  back  and  regained  their  corps 
which  soon  completely  disappeared  from  the  plain.  Oi 
seeing  the  cavalry  ride  away,  we  left  our  position  on  the 
roadside  and  went  to  the  corn-field  to  find  out  at  what 
object  the  three  shots  were  fired.  There,  to  our  sad 
surprise,  we  found  poor  Larry  Lorgan  lying  on  his 
back  dead,  with  three  balls  through  his  body.  It  would 


appear  that  his  strength  failed  him,  and  that  he  threw 
himself  flat  into  the  corn-field  thinking  thereby  to  escape  ; 
but  he  was  perceived  by  the  enemy  as  he  threw  himself 
down,  and  they  gloried  in  murdering  this  poor  sickly 
man,  instead  of  carrying  him  away  as  a  prisoner.  Such 
trophies  and  deeds  as  this  were  the  continual  boast  ot 
the  English  cavalry, — it  wab  indeed  worthy  of  them. 

We  all  regretted  Lorgan  very  much.  As  none  of  his 
comrades  had  missed  him  from  the  ranks,  they  were  the 
more  shocked  to  see  him  lying  murdered  in  the  corn-field. 
After  this  unfortunate  incident,  we  resumed  our  march, 
and  we  arrived  early  in  the  day  at  Glenmalure,  where  I 
met  vast  numbers  of  the  county  of  Wexford  men,  all  of 
whom,  like  myself,  were  at  a  loss  to  know  what  direction 
the  main  body  of  our  small  army  had  taken.  As  no  one 
could  give  us  any  intelligence  on  the  subject,  we  resolved 
to  organize  ourselves  the  best  way  we  could,  and  to 
remain  in  Glenmalure  until  we  could  learn  where  Garrett 
Byrne  and  the  other  chiefs  had  pitched  their  camp. 

The  place  afforded  some  resource  as  to  food,  for  vast 
flocks  of  sheep  were  still  on  the  mountains  around,  but 
the  want  of  salt  and  vegetables  was  sorely  felt.  As  to 
bread,  none  could  be  had  for  any  money,  and  the  pota- 
toes were  unripe  and  unfit  for  use.  In  consequence,  it 
became  urgent  to  organize  night  expeditions  to  go  far 
away,  to  endeavour  to  procure  oatmeal  and  salt.  I  saw 
the  brave  and  intrepid  Dwyer  here  for  the  first  time. 
He  had  already  acquired  a  great  reputation  in  those 
mountainous  districts ;  for  every  time  that  the  cavalry 
attempted  to  reconnoitre  the  position  near  the  entrance 
of  the  glen,  he  was  sure  to  be  on  their  flank,  or  in  an 
ambuscade  before  daylight,  waiting  their  arrival ;  and 
as  both  he  and  the  men  who  generally  accompanied  him 
were  of  this  country,  and  good  marksmen,  they  took 
delight  in  terrifying  the  cavalry,  who  instantly  wheeled 
about  and  fled  the  moment  a  shot  was  fired  at  them.  So 


by  Dwyer's  bravery  and  exertion  in  this  kind  of  skir- 
mishing with  the  enemy,  we  were  in  perfect  safety  during 
the  night,  to  repose  and  recover  from  our  fatigues  of  the 
county  of  Wexford  campaign. 

Glenmalure  is  nearly  three  miles  long,  with  the  little 
river  Avonbeg  coming  down  from  the  high  mountains. 
There  were  several  houses  on  each  side  of  it,  where  our 
men  got  the  means  of  cooking  the  mutton  which  they 
had  in  abundance,  as  the  hills,  as  I  naid  before,  were 
covered  with  flocks  of  sheep.  They  also  got  timber  to 
make  pike  handles  in  the  rafters  of  the  smelting  house 
belonging  to  the  lead  mines,  to  replace  those  that  were 
broken  or  lost  during  the  night  marches;  so 
that  in  a  few  days  we  were  tolerably  well  armed 
with  pikes,  but  badly  provided  with  fire-arms  and  ammu- 
nition. A  night  expedition  was  now  decided  on  to  go 
into  the  country  villages  at  some  distance,  to  bring  salt 
and  any  dry  provisions  we  could  get  back  to  our  camp 
in  Glenmalure,  where  it  was  resolved  the  intrepid  Dwyer 
should  remain  with  the  men  he  commanded  to  defend 
the  entrance  of  the  glen  during  our  absence.  The  famous 
Holt,  who  had  just  arrived,  was  to  have  the  command 
of  the  night  expedition,  and  at  dusk  when  we  had  all  our 
men  assembled  near  the  smelting-house  and  ready  to 
march,  some  county  Wicklow  men  who  knew  Holt, 
came  to  tell  us  that  his  wife  had  come  to  join  him,  and 
that  she  had  been  making  terms  for  him  with  the  enemy 
at  Rathdrum,  in  which  town  Holt  was  well  known  to  all 
the  authorities,  having  been  employed  to  put  the  seals  on 
the  flannels  at  the  fairs,  having  been  Bumbailiff,  etc. ; 
and  as  her  own  family,  the  Mannings,  were  notorious 
Orangemen,  they  feared  it  might  be  dangerous  to  confide 
in  Holt ;  that  he  would  lead  us  perhaps  into  some  ambus- 
cade from  whence  we  might  not  be  able  to  escape,  etc. 
To  all  this  we  listened  with  great  attention,  and  as  we, 
the  county  Wexford  men,  were  the  majority,  we 


decided  to  send  to  Holt  who  was  at  Pierce  Hartley's 
house,  with  his  wife,  at  the  very  head  of  the  glen,  to  let 
him  know  that  we  were  ready  to  march,  resolving  at  the 
same  time  not  to  follow  his  plan.  When  he  arrived,  we 
asked  him  in  what  direction  he  intended  to  march ;  he 
replied  to  the  Seven  Churches  ;  we  objected,  saying  that 
neighbourhood  was  too  poor,  that  it  would  be  better  to 
take  another  direction  into  a  richer  country,  to  which 
he  at  once  agreed  most  cheerfully ;  no  doubt  to  prove 
to  us  that  he  had  not  any  interested  motive  for  going  to 
the  Seven  Churches,  though  it  was  the  country  of  his 
wife's  family.  Or,  perhaps,  what  weighed  most  with 
him,  was  a  desire  to  comply  with  the  wishes  of  the 
county  Wexford  men,  whom  he  perceived  formed  the 
majority  of  the  detachment  then  under  arms  and  ready 
to  march.  It  was  at  once  decided  to  march  on  the 
Rathdrum  road  as  far  as  Greenan  bridge,  and  from 
thence  to  turn  into  the  country  parts  which  had  not 
suffered  by  the  war. 

We  mustered  for  this  expedition  two  or  three  hundred 
of  our  men,  who  were  best  able  to  bear  up  with  great 
fatigue,  leaving  the  weak,  sickly  and  wounded  under  the 
care  of  Dwyer,  who  acted  as  governor  of  Glenmalure, 
our  citadel  or  stronghold  in  the  Wicklow  mountains. 
We  set  off  in  good  marching  order  and  in  high  spirits. 
Holt  and  a  friend  of  mine,  John  Doyle  of  Aughrim,  and 
myself  being  mounted.  We  rode  at  the  head  of  our  little 
column,  with  a  few  men  on  foot  who  preceded  us,  as  an 
"  avant-garde  "  about  fifty  yards.  As  the  night  was  very 
dark,  we  recommended  our  men  to  observe  the 
greatest  silence  but  the  noise  made  by  our  own 
horses  could  not  be  avoided  and  might  be  heard 
at  some  considerable  distance.  Doyle  and  I  were 
riding  on  each  side  of  Holt,  who  was  telling 
us  his  plans,  and  the  great  things  he  thought  we 
should  perform  before  returning  to  Glenmalure.  In  the 


first  place  he  observed  that  he  thought  all  the  isolated 
houses,  which  might  serve  as  places  of  refuge  to  the 
enemy,  particularly  if  they  were  covered  with  slates, 
ought  to  be  burned.  This  sentence  was  scarcely  pro- 
nounced when  we  perceived  flashes  of  light  like  so  many 
stars  from  the  pans  of  the  enemy's  fire-locks,  within 
pistol  shot  of  us,  and  instantly  the  whizzing  of  balls 
through  our  ranks  and  over  our  heads.  This  discharge 
came  from  the  English  army  which  had  marched  from 
Rathdrum  to  reconnoitre  our  position  and  had  only  time 
to  reach  the  bridge  of  Greenan,  when  on  hearing  the 
noise  of  our  column  advancing,  they  halted  in  silence 
and  waited  our  approach. 

I  shall  never  forget  Holt's  presence  of  mind  and 
extraordinary  exertion  on  this  dangerous  occasion.  He 
cried  out  with  the  voice  of  a  Stentor,  to  our  pikemen  to 
march  en  masse  and  cross  the  bridge,  and  he  gave  orders 
to  our  gunsmen  at  the  same  time,  and  in  the  same  loud 
voice,  to  wade  the  river,  and  to  get  on  the  enemy's  flank, 
so  that  not  one  of  them  might  escape,  etc.  Many  of 
the  Rathdrum  yeomen  who  accompanied  the  English 
army  in  this  night  expedition,  became  terrified  when 
they  heard  Holt's  voice,  with  which  they  were  well 
acquainted,  and  this  no  doubt  added  to  the  disorder 
which  already  prevailed  in  their  ranks  :  for  they  suddenly 
retreated  back  to  Rathdrum ;  whilst  we  on  our  side 
had  the  greatest  trouble  to  rally  our  men  and  keep  them 
from  disbanding  themselves,  as  they  feared  they  had  got 
into  an  ambuscade.  A  pistol  shot  heard  in  the  rear 
gave  rise  to  this  apprehension ;  consequently,  instead  of 
marching  in  a  mass  to  the  bridge,  as  Holt  had  ordered, 
they  quitted  the  road  and  got  into  a  marshy  field  on  the 
left  side.  After  some  time,  finding  the  enemy's  fire  had 
ceased,  the  panic  began  to  subside,  though  we  did  not 
know  at  the  time  that  the  enemy  had  retreated  How- 
ever, we  rallied  again  on  the  road,  when  it  was  thought 


more  prudent  to  return  to  Glenmalure,  fearing  that  we 
might  meet  other  moving  columns  of  the  enemy  if  we 
continued  our  night  march.  Having  only  three  men  who 
had  received  slight  wounds  from  the  first  volley  fired,  we 
thought  ourselves  very  fortunate  to  have  escaped  so  well. 
The  darkness  of  the  night,  with  the  noise  of  our  horses  in 
front  contributed  to  this;  the  enemy  taking  too  high 
aim,  thinking  we  were  all  mounted.  When  we  returned 
to  the  glen  we  met  Dwyer,  who  told  us  we  might  repose 
ourselves  during  the  night  in  perfect  safety,  that  he 
would  take  care  that  the  pass  should  be  well  guarded. 

Holt  went  to  Pierce  Harney's  house  at  the  head  of 
the  glen,  where  his  wife  still  remained,  and  strange 
enough,  notwithstanding  his  recent  brilliant  conduct, 
several  of  those  men  who  knew  him  well,  thought  he 
would  go  away  with  his  wife,  and  in  consequence,  they 
kept  a  close  watch  round  the  house  all  night  to  prevent 
him.  Holt,  however,  sent  his  wife  away  next  day,  and 
thereby  removed  the  cause  of  suspicion.  How  fortunate 
it  was  for  him  that  it  was  not  at  his  suggestion  that  we 
marched  on  the  Rathdrum  road ;  for  if  it  had  been  his 
plan,  he  would  have  been  accused  of  bringing  us  into  the 
enemy's  ambuscade,  whereas  he  had  now  all  the  merit 
of  getting  us  safely  out  of  it,  and  justly  does  he  deserve 
this  praise. 

I  went  with  a  small  reconnoitring  party  next  day,  to 
view  our  field  of  action  of  the  night  before.  We  found 
several  pikes  in  the  marshy  swamp  beside  the  road,  and 
at  the  other  side  of  the  bridge  we  got  several  foraging 
caps  and  bayonets,  which  the  enemy  lost  in  their  hurry 
to  escape.  Before  returning  with  these  trophies,  we  saw 
the  Rathdrum  cavalry  at  a  distance,  halted  on  the  road ; 
but  they  did  not  advance,  so  we  reached  the  glen  this 
time  without  any  skirmishing  with  the  enemy. 

The  chiefs  and  men  of  influence  held  a  meeting  at 
which  it  was  resolved  that  we  should  now  defend  the 


glen  more  carefully  than  ever,  in  consequence  of  the  sad 
tidings  just  arrived,  of  the  disasters  and  complete  dis- 
persion of  our  main  body,  commanded  by  Fitzgerald, 
Garrett  Byrne,  Kearns,  Esmond  Kyan,  etc.,  which  had 
marched  into  the  counties  of  Meath,  Louth  and  Dublin. 
This  news  unfortunately  was  soon  ascertained  to  be  but 
too  true. 

Amongst  the  brave  fellows  who  escaped  and  arrived 
from  the  Boyne  was  my  poor  brother  Hugh.  Of  course 
through  him  I  became  immediately  acquainted  with  all 
the  particulars  of  this  woful  incursion  into  Meath  and 
Louth,  and  also  of  the  gallant  resistance  made  to  the 
enemy's  cavalry,  after  they  had  passed  the  Boyne  at 
Duleek  and  near  the  town  of  Ardee,  where  my  poor 
uncle  John  Byrne  was  killed  in  a  charge  of  cavalry,  by 
my  brother  Hugh's  side,  who  thought  he  was  knocked 
down,  Hugh  recovered  himself  and  had  time  to  cross  a 
ditch  before  the  cavalry  could  draw  up  to  make  another 

My  dear  uncle  was  the  youngest  of  my  father's  family ; 
he  was  not  married.  There  never  was  a  more  affec- 
tionate, nor  a  braver  being  on  the  face  of  the  earth.  He 
feared  no  danger,  and  indeed  it  was  wonderful,  as  was 
often  remarked,  how  he  escaped  so  long.  My  brother 
Hugh  told  me  also  of  the  extraordinary  bravery  dis- 
played on  the  same  occasion  by  the  two  Finns,  Laurence 
and  Luke :  the  latter,  being  knocked  down  in  the  charge 
and  ridden  over  and  tiampled  down  by  all  the  cavalry, 
kept  his  musket  notwithstanding,  close  by  his  side  ;  when 
two  of  these  cavalry  men  returning  perceived  he  was 
not  dead,  they  rode  up  to  finish  him.  Luke  sat  up,  let 
them  approach,  deliberately  took  aim  and  shot  one  of 
them,  whilst  his  brother  Laurence,  who  was  looking  on 
from  behind  the  hedge,  shot  the  other,  and  thus  relieved 
Luke,  who,  now  completely  recovered  from  the  trance 
he  had  been  in,  got  up,  and  escaped  over  the  ditch  to  his 


brother  and  the  other  gunsmen.  Those  two  Finns  dis- 
tinguished themselves  in  every  battle  and  combat  that 
was  fought  against  the  English  in  the  county  of  Wexford. 
They  made  part  of  Sir  Jarvis  White's  corps  of  yeomen 
infantry  of  Ballyellis,  which  corps  was  one  of  the  first 
organized  in  the  country  and  as  White  boasted,  was  one 
of  the  first  ready  to  march  against  General  Hoche,  when 
he  came  to  Bantry  Bay  in  the  month  of  December,  1796. 
It  was  also  one  of  the  first  corps  of  yeomen  which  the 
Government  ordered  to  be  disbanded  and  disarmed, 
fearing  that  it  was  composed  of  United  Irishmen  wishing 
for  the  independence  of  Ireland 

My  brother's  wound  was  nearly  healed,  but  still  he 
required  great  care  and  repose  for  some  days  to  bring 
him  about,  and  Glenmalure  proved  on  that  account  a 
blessing,  which  I  shall  always  remember  with  the  greatest 
pleasure.  It  afforded  a  temporary  and  sure  resting  place 
to  those  brave  men  returning  after  their  defeat  and 
dispersion  at  the  Boyne. 

Poor  Esmond  Kyan,  who  arrived  about  the  same  time, 
could  not  be  prevailed  upon  to  stop  with  us ;  he  would 
return  to  Wexford,  where  he  said  he  was  sure  to  get  a 
safe  hiding  place  to  remain  in,  until  he  recovered  his 
health,  which  was  much  impaired  by  the  fatigues  he  had 
undergone.  With  only  one  arm,  and  the  stump  of  the 
other  not  yet  healed,  he  feared  he  would  not  be  equal  to 
the  task  of  crossing  the  mountains,  which  he  knew  he 
would  frequently  have  to  do.  Had  he  consented  to  pass 
a  few  days  in  those  mountains  he  might  have  escaped  the 
wrath  of  the  cruel  High  Church  ascendancy  monsters  of 
Wexford,  who  longed  to  have  him  hanged  and  gibbetted 
with  the  other  patriots  whose  heads  already  decorated 
the  public  buildings  there.  He  was  of  all  the  chiefs  of 
our  little  Irish  army  the  one  who  merited  the  most  good 
terms  from  the  English.  Throughout  the  war,  he  had 
shown  the  greatest  humanity,  and  made  unceasing  exer- 



tions  to  save  the  lives  of  the  prisoners,  even  of  those 
whose  hands  were  steeped  in  the  blood  of  the  inhabi- 
tants of  the  county  of  Wexford.  But  fate  decided  other- 

It  was  a  great  pity  that  Father  Kearns  and  Anthony 
Perry  did  not  reach  Glenmalure ;  they  would  have  had 
strength  enough  to  wait  and  to  avail  themselves  of  the 
great  advantages  these  Wicklow  mountains  afforded  at 
this  moment  against  the  enemy's  cavalry,  and  even 
against  their  infantry.  But  alas !  they  were  not  doomed 
to  die  the  death  of  soldiers.  They  were  both  hanged 
at  Edenderry. 

One  day  about  the  I4th  of  July,  1798,  a  countryman 
came  as  a  messenger  from  the  English  camp  of  the  glen 
of  Imaal ;  he  was  the  bearer  of  a  letter  addressed  to 
Murtough  Byrne  of  Little  Aughrim.  This  honourable 
man  before  opening  the  letter,  wished  to  have  as  many 
of  us  present  as  could  be  assembled ;  when  we  met  and 
formed  a  circle,  he  took  the  letter  from  the  peasant, 
entered  the  circle,  saying  that  he  well  knew  the  hand- 
writing of  the  direction,  that  it  was  Garrett  Byrne's.  He 
then  opened  the  letter  and  read  the  following  contents : 


I  have  this  day  surrendered  myself  to  General  Sir  John 
Moore,  who  has  engaged  to  obtain  my  pardon,  and  per- 
mission to  quit  Ireland  and  go  to  reside  in  a  foreign 
country.  It  is  at  the  General's  request  I  now  write  ;  he 
promises  to  obtain  the  same  terms  for  you  or  any  of  the 
other  chiefs  who  will  immediately  avail  themselves  of 
this  opportunity. — Yours, 


As  soon  as  the  letter  was  read,  the  countryman  or 
messenger  was  brought  into  the  circle  where  we  were 
assembled  in  a  field  near  the  smelting  house.  He  was 


asked  if  the  person  who  gave  him  the  letter  in  the  pre- 
sence of  the  English  general  was  a  prisoner.  He  replied 
he  was,  and  that  he  thought  he  was  Mr.  Garrett  Byrne 
of  Ballymanus,  though  he  added,  he  never  saw  that 
gentleman  before.  "  Well  then,"  we  replied,  "  you  will 
never  see  him  again,  for  he  was  shot  before  you  were  half 
a  mile  from  the  English  camp  ;  they  forced  the  unhappy 
man  to  write  that  letter  of  which  you  were  the  bearer, 
before  they  put  him  to  death.  You  can  now  return  and 
receive  your  wages."  He  was  then  escorted  some  dis- 
tance on  the  way,  and  before  quitting  the  glen,  he  could 
see  Antrim  John,  the  sergeant,  marching  and  drilling 
platoons  of  our  men  in  the  meadows  on  the  river  side. 
The  messenger  could  thereby  make  out  news  of  his  own 
to  add  to  our  answer  respecting  our  disbelief  of  English 

It  was  now  only  eight  or  ten  days  since  the  battle  of 
Ballygullen,  the  last  pitched  battle  we  fought  in  the 
county  of  Wexford,  and  already  all  those  brave  leaders 
who  displayed  so  much  talent  and  generalship  there  had, 
from  one  cause  or  another,  disappeared  from  the  scene 
of  action.  The  brave  and  beloved  of  the  county  of 
Wexford  people,  Edward  Fitzgerald  of  New  Park,  he 
also,  fearing  that  there  was  no  further  chance  of 
making  head  against  the  English  army,  surrendered  on 
the  1 2th  of  July  to  General  Dundas.  I  never  could 
learn  the  real  motive  which  induced  these  leaders  to 
quit  the  Wicklow  mountains  and  march  with  the  Wexford 
division,  which  had  fought  so  gallantly  and  in  so  many 
battles,  into  an  open  country  (without  cavalry),  like  Kil- 
dare,  Meath,  Louth,  etc.,  and  in  which  counties  the 
enemy's  cavalry  enjoyed  every  possible  advantage ; 
whilst  neither  their  artillery  nor  cavalry  could  be  brought 
to  bear  against  us  in  the  Wicklow  mountains.  Had  our 
forces  remained  there,  we  might  have  mustered 
easily  from  fifteen  to  twenty  thousand  resolute,  fine 


fellows,  a  force  quite  adequate  to  have  defended  these 
defiles  and  passes  for  months ;  and  then  General  Hum- 
bert's army,  such  as  it  was,  arriving  in  the  month  of 
August,  might  have  found  but  trifling  obstacles  in  the 
parts  of  Ireland  which  it  would  have  had  to  pass  through 
on  its  way  to  the  capital. 

I  shall  not  descant  more  on  this  melancholy  subject, 
which,  however,  I  could  never  cease  thinking  of  ;  but  had 
we  persevered  a  little  longer,  and  not  undertaken  that 
unfortunate  and  foolish  march  to  the  Boyne,  we  should 
have  succeeded.  It  is  well  known  that  had  we  been 
assembled  in  an  imposing  force  in  the  Wicklow  moun- 
tains, as  we  might  have  been  at  the  time  the  French 
landed  in  the  West,  the  greater  part  of  the  Irish  militia 
regiments  would  have  joined  us.  The  fine  young 
sergeant  whom  we  called  Antrim  John,  and  who  brought 
away  with  him  a  section  of  his  company,  assured  us 
that  his  regiment  only  waited  to  ascertain  if  we  could 
rally  a  sufficient  force  to  receive  them,  so  that  they 
should  not  be  under  the  necessity  of  disguising  them- 
selves, but  fight  in  the  militia  uniform  for  the  indepen- 
dence of  Ireland  and  against  her  real  enemies  the 
English.  Whereas  at  presentz  from  our  not  having  an 
army  strong  enough  to  take  the  field,  those  brave  militia 
men  who  joined  us  were  obliged  to  change  their  uniforms 
for  coloured  clothes. 

When  Antrim  John  was  asked  why  he  did  not  come  to 

our  standard  at  Arklow  when  we  were  in  great  force, 
he  replied  that  according  to  a  prophecy  they  had  in  the 
North,  Ireland  could  not  be  free  before  the  autumn  of 
'98,  when  the  French  were  to  land,  and  then  the  English 
yoke  was  to  be  shook  off  for  ever,  and  Ireland  once  more 
become  a  nation,  governing  herself,  and  trading  with  all 
the  world  as  a  free  country  is  entitled  to  do.  This  con- 
versation about  the  prophecy  with  the  sergeant,  Antrim 
John,  took  place  a  few  days  before  we  heard  of  the 


landing  of  General  Humbert,  with  his  eleven  hundred 
French  soldiers  at  Killaloe.  But,  unfortunately,  we 
heard  of  the  surrender  of  the  French  army  to  Lord  Corn- 
wallis  nearly  at  the  same  time,  so  our  joy  was  of  short 

To  make  up  for  this  misfortune  we  learned  from  those 
Antrim  militia  men  who  came  to  join  us  at  Glenmalure, 
that  it  was  not  true,  as  was  generally  believed,  that  the 
militia  regiments  were  composed  either  of  Roman  Catho- 
lics or  Orangemen.  No  doubt  the  propagation  of  the 
Orange  lodges  was  encouraged  in  every  militia  regiment 
both  by  the  colonels  and  the  Government ;  but  still  in 
spite  of  their  exertions  and  persecutions,  the  majority 
of  the  northern  counties  militia,  though  not  Catholics, 
were  United  Irishmen,  and  consequently  ready  to  join 
our  standard  whenever  we  could  muster  sufficiently 
strong  to  make  a  stand  for  any  time  in  a  military  position 
to  receive  them. 

Mr.  Paul  Murray,  from  near  the  town  of  Wicklow, 
arrived  here  one  night  accompanied  by  a  number  of  men 
from  his  neighbourhood  I  had  to  wait  on  him  in  the 
morning  respecting  prisoners  who  were  escorted  to  the 
glen  by  his  party.  I  found  him  at  Pierce  Harney's ;  he 
was  lying  on  a  bed  in  his  clotheSj  well  dressed,  with  new 
topped  boots,  etc.,  all  which  formed  a  singular  con- 
trast with  our  tattered,  worn-out  coats,  but,  poor  fellow, 
he  was  just  escaping  from  his  hiding-place,  to  take 
the  field  for  the  first  time  I  never  saw  Paul  Murray 
before  this  morning.  I  little  thought  that  we  should 
become  afterwards  so  well  acquainted  in  a  foreign  land. 
One  day,  in  1803,  coming  out  of  the  London  coffee 
house,  Rue  Jacob,  at  Paris,  I  saw  a  man  dressed  in  a 
snuff-coloured  ccat  and  top  boots ;  on  coming  near  I 
said  to  the  person  who  was  with  me,  '  How  like  that 
man  is  to  poor  Paul  Murray  whom  I  met  in  the  Wicklow 
mountains  in  '98!  But  Murray  was  arrested  in  Dublin 


by  Major  Sirr,  and  of  course  was  transported,  so  it 
cannot  be  him."  But  it  was  the  very  same  Paul  Murray, 
and  we  soon  recognized  each  other  and  spoke  of 
our  adventures  in  the  Wicklow  mountains.  I  in- 
troduced him  next  day  to  Mr.  Thomas  Addis  Emmet, 
who  obtained  a  commission  for  him  in  the  Irish 
legion  at  its  formation,  and  we  made  several  campaigns 
in  Spain  and  Portugal  in  the  same  battalions  He  retired 
afterwards  on  a  pension  and  died  at  Dunkirk  at  an 
advanced  age.  There  never  was  a  truer  or  better  friend 
and  comrade  than  Paul  Murray  of  Kilmurry,  near 

We  were  now  threatened  to  be  driven  from  Glenma- 
lure,  which  we  had  defended  so  long,  and  which  had  been 
an  asylum  for  some  time  to  many  families  escaping  the 
tortures  and  other  abominations  not  to  be  mentioned, 
of  the  cruel  Orange  yeomanry.  According  to 
the  information  received  we  were  to  be  surrounded 
in  every  direction  by  Highlanders,  Hessians,  and 
all  the  other  foreign  troops  that  England  could  dis- 
pose of.  We  expected  this  attack,  and  we  resolved  to 
fight  our  way  in  one  direction  at  least  against  whatever 
forces  we  should  meet. 

Whilst  preparing  for  this  event,  I  was  not  a  little  sur- 
prised to  be  sent  for  to  go  and  see  a  lady  who  had 
arrived  in  the  night  with  her  three  children,  the  eldest 
of  them  eight  years  of  age :  Mrs.  Betty  Mulloy,  whose 
husband  was  killed  at  the  battle  of  Vinegar  Hill,  and 
whose  sister  was  married  to  my  first  cousin,  Pat  Bruslaun, 
who  was  murdered  in  his  bed  by  that  monster  Hunter 
Gowan.  This  poor  woman  entered  into  all  the  details 
of  her  escape  from  her  home,  and  said,  she  was  sure  that 
by  that  time,  all  she  had  in  the  world,  except  her  children, 
was  burnt  and  destroyed,  and  hearing  that  I  had  a  com- 
mand in  these  mountains,  she  had  come  to  put  herself 
under  my  protection.  Instead  of  being  able  to  afford  her 


any  protection  I  could  only  entreat  her  to  quit  the  glen 
and  return  home  with  her  children  ;  that  by  the  time  she 
arrived  there,  things  might  probably  be  changed  for  the 
better ;  that  at  the  moment  I  was  speaking  to  her,  the 
enemy  could  be  seen  in  great  force  on  the  tops  of  the 
mountains,  where  they  had  been  encamped  for  the  night 
and  ready  to  march  down  upon  us.  It  was  not  only  this 
poor  woman  and  her  children,  but  the  sick  and  wounded 
that  were  now  obliged  to  seek  a  place  of  refuge,  and 
shelter,  or  places  to  hide  in,  in  the  neighbouring  villages  ; 
for  none  but  the  most  vigorous  and  robust  men  would  be 
equal  to  undergo  the  fatigue  of  continually  crossing 
these  high  mountains.  Poor  Mrs.  Mulloy  resolved  to  re 
turn  home,  and  many  brave  men  from  the  county  of 
Wexford,  whose  health  was  impaired  to  such  a  degree  as 
to  render  them  scarcely  able  to  walk,  asked  me  what  tRey 
should  do.  Of  course,  as  we  had  no  means  of  carrying 
our  sick  and  wounded,  I  could  only  tell  them  to  endea- 
vour to  escape  and  hide,  the  best  way  they  could  for  the 
present,  until  the  enemy  had  marched  away.  My  poor 
brother  Hugh,  though  far  from  being  recovered,  would 
not  consent  to  remain  behind  and  be  separated  from  me 

We  were  under  arms  and  on  the  alert  all  night,  ex- 
pecting to  be  attacked.  However,  it  was  only  at  day- 
light next  morning  that  the  division  of  the  Highlanders 
began  their  march,  and  to  descend  from  the  mountain 
leading  from  the  Seven  Churches,  whilst  the  English 
forces  from  Rathdrum  entered  by  the  mouth  of  the  glen. 

On  seeing  these  different  movements  of  the  enemy,  we 
assembled  all  our  men  and  marched  up  the  opposite 
mountain,  leading  to  the  Glen  of  Imaal,  and  after  getting 
some  distance  up  the  mountain,  we  formed  our  line  of 
battle  and  halted  there  for  some  time.  But  the  enemy  did 
not  choose  to  follow  us,  which  was  indeed  very  extraor- 
dinary, for  instead  of  the  thousands  we  were  so  often 


reported  to  muster  in  Glenmalure,  they  might  now  see 
plainly,   and,  no  doubt,  with  astonishment,  the   small- 
ness  of  our  body,  which  had  caused  so  much  terror  in  all 
their  garrison  towns.    Though  we  were  so  reduced,  they 
did  not  march  to  attack  us ;  they  seemed  for  the  present 
to  confine  their  operations  to  burning  the  houses  in  the 
glen,  and  driving  the  unfortunate  women  with  their  chil- 
dren to  perish  in  the  fields  from  cold  and  hunger.    As  we 
went  up  the  hills,  on  the  opposite  side,  we  could  see  the 
flames  from  the  dwellings  of  these  unhappy  creatures, 
where  also  so  many  of  our  sick  and  wounded,  returning 
from  the  disastrous  campaign  of  the  Boyne,  had  stopped 
to  recover.    The  brave  Dwyer  was  now  obliged  to  aban- 
don this  stronghold,  which  he  had  so  long  defended,  and 
to  march  with  us.    As  he,  and  most  of  the  men  he  com- 
manded, were  natives  of  these  mountains  and  glens,  we 
were  sure  to  be  safely  guided  through  them.     After  re- 
posing for  some  time,  finding  that  we  were  not  followed 
by  the  enemy,  Holt  proposed  crossing  the  mountain  and 
marching  to  the  Glen  of  Imaal,  to  ascertain  whether  or 
not  General  Sir  J.  Moore  was  still  encamped  there  with 
his  division.  When  we  arrived  on  the  mountain  in  sight  of 
the  glen,  we  could  perceive  only  one  tent,  which  imme- 
diately disappeared  on  seeing  our  forces  drawing  up  on 
the  adjacent  hill.    But  General  Moore  and  his  army  had 
left  the  Glen  of  Imaal  some  time  before,  and  we  could 
not  learn  where  he  had  marched  to ;   but  our  plan  now 
became  imperative,  to  avoid  as  much  as  possible  any 
engagement  with  the  enemy,  except  small  detachments 
which  we  could  easily  defeat,  and  from  whom  we  could 
procure  arms  and  ammunition,  without  which  we  could 
not  even  make  head  against  those  small  detachments. 

We  resolved  not  to  stop  long  in  any  one  place,  and  by 
our  continual  marching  and  counter-marching,  to  show 
the  enemy  by  this  kind  of  manoeuvreing  how  difficult  it 
would  be  to  come  in  contact  with  us  in  those  mountains, 


where  we  were  so  well  guided  by  the  brave  Dwyer  and 
his  followers.  But,  unfortunately,  this  intrepid  chief  left 
us  again,  on  hearing  that  we  intended  to  march  towards 
the  county  of  Wexford.  He  could  never  be  brought  to 
consent  to  march  us  any  distance  from  his  native  moun- 
tains ;  whilst  Holt,  though  he  might  perceive  that  he  was 
not  always  consulted  about  our  excursions  in  quest  of 
provisions,  was  ever  ready  to  march  with  us,  and  even  to 
assume  to  himself  the  responsibility  of  the  expedition ; 
and  he  did  all  with  such  good  humour  that  we  were  de- 
lighted, and  now  cheerfully  marched  with  him  from  the 
Glen  of  Imaal  to  Aughavanagh,  and  from  thence  to 
Croaghan  mountain,  to  try  to  get  some  news  of  what 
was  going  on  in  the  counties  of  Carlow  and  Wexford ; 
and  when  we  came  in  sight  of  the  high  road  leading 
from  Shillelagh  to  Arklow,  we  perceived  a  number  of 
military  waggons  escorted  by  cavalry,  on  their  way  to 
the  latter  town.  Holt  instantly  ordered  our  little 
column  to  march  down  rapidly  in  an  oblique  direction, 
and  to  get  out  on  the  road,  and  to  stop  and  attack  the 
convoy.  The  escort  composed  of  dragoons,  seeing  this 
manosuvre,  escaped  in  great  speed,  leaving  the  waggons 
and  their  drivers  to  get  out  of  the  fight  the  best  way 
they  could.  The  drivers  or  conductors  were  soon  cap- 
tured, and  unluckily  some  of  them  were  killed  in  the 
fray.  Holt  ordered  a  great  pile  to  be  made  of  the  wag- 
gons and  the  provisions  of  corn,  forage,  etc.,  and  fire  to 
be  put  to  this  pile  on  evry  side,  so  in  a  short  time  the 
flames  from  it  could  be  seen  at  a  great  distance,  as  the 
day  was  very  bright.  As  we  knew  that  the  garrison 
towns  on  seeing  these  flames,  or  on  hearing  of  the 
disasters  of  their  convoy,  would  immediately  despatch 
great  forces  of  foot  and  horse  against  us,  we  hastened 
to  repair  to  Croaghan  mountain  to  avoid  meeting  the 
enemy,  as  we  did  not  muster  very  strong ;  and  here  we 
learned  for  the  first  time  that  a  relaxation  of  the  cruel, 


cold-blooded  murders  was  taking  place  in  many  of  the 
county  of  Wexford  districts.  Lord  Cornwallis  issued  a 
proclamation  there  inviting  all  those  who  had  taken 
part  in  the  war,  "  except  the  chiefs,"  to  return  to  their 
homes,  where  they  should  receive  his  formal  protection. 
Whether  this  was  on  account  of  the  landing  of  the 
French  at  Killala,  and  the  marching  of  the  English 
troops  out  of  the  country,  or  for  any  other  reason,  a  stop 
seemed  to  be  put  for  the  present  to  the  murderous 
career  of  the  monster  magistrates,  James  Boyd,  Hawtry 
White,  Hunter  Gowan,  Archibald  Hamilton,  Jacob,  and 
their  cruel  Orange  associates.  Besides,  the  corn  being 
now  ripe,  thousands  ventured  to  return  home,  hoping 
to  save  it  for  their  famishing  families.  In  consequence 
of  this,  our  small  corps  was  reduced  to  a  mere  band. 
Still  we  resolved  to  keep  our  position  in  the  Wicklow 
mountains.  For  though  vast  numbers  left  us  to  return 
to  their  dwellings,  others,  after  having  remained  con- 
cealed some  days  in  their  houses,  had  to  escape  and 
come  back  to  us.  The  protection  they  obtained  was  of 
no  use  to  them,  if  it  was  ascertained  that  they  had  ever 
been  present  when  houses  were  burned  or  if  they  had 
assisted  at  the  battle  of  Ballyellis,  where  the  Ancient 
Britons  were  killed.  No  protection  under  these  circum- 
stances could  save  them.  Such  rigorous  requisites  and 
formalities  or  conditions  brought  back  to  our  standard 
many  fine  fellows  who  had  intended  to  remain  at  their 
homes  quietly  with  their  families. 

About  this  time  I  received  a  letter  from  Nick  Murphy 
of  Monaseed,  who  had  escaped  from  the  Boyne  and  got 
into  Dublin,  where  he  was  hiding,  as  well  as  hundreds 
of  our  comrades.  Their  escape,  as  well  as  his,  seemed 

When  the  news  of  the  landing  of  the  French  army 
was  known  in  the  capital,  Murphy  was  commissioned 
to  find  out  some  sure  means  of  conveying  intelligence 


to  me  of  this  fortunate  event.  A  poor  woman,  the 
daughter  of  one  of  our  tenants,  a  Mrs.  Keogh,  volunteered 
to  be  the  bearer  of  this  letter,  which  she  sewed  in  the 
hf  m  of  her  petticoat.  She  was  returning  to  her  home, 
after  taking  farewell  of  her  unfortunate  husband,  who 
was  condemned  to  transportation  for  life,  and  just  put 
aboard  a  vessel  in  the  river  waiting  to  sail.  When  I 
thanked  this  worthy  creature,  and  observed  what  a 
dangerous  mission  she  had  undertaken,  she  replied, 
"  that  it  was  a  great  consolation  to  her  in  her  misfortune 
to  be  entrusted  with  such  a  commission,  and  to  be  the 
bearer  of  such  good  news  as  that  of  the  French  landing, 
though  she  was  doomed  never  to  see  her  dear  husHand 

Though  Nick  Murphy's  letter  was  very  short  and  cir- 
cumspect, still  it  was  cheering  and  delightful  to  us.  He 
said  it  was  expected  that  there  would  be  a  general  rising 
in  Dublin  of  the  people,  if  the  French  were  in  sufficient 
force  to  make  head  against  the  English  army.  That 
many  persons  came  forward  now,  who  had  remained  in 
the  background  before,  and  said  they  were  ready  to 
act.  Besides,  such  was  the  enthusiasm  prevailing  all 
through  the  city  at  seeing  the  troops  march  away,  that 
the  Orange  yeomen  could  not  help  observing  it,  and 
trembled  for  their  own  safety.  That  at  all  events,  our 
forces  in  the  mountains  would  be  the  rallying  point,  and 
from  all  he  could  learn  and  see  himself,  there  was  now 
every  hope  of  success  from  the  aid  of  the  French  army. 
He  added,  likewise,  how  very  anxious  our  friends  in 
Dublin  were  that  we  should  be  able  to  keep  ourselves 
in  anything  like  a  respectable  force  in  the  Wicklow 
mountains  for  some  time. 

Though  we  had  heard  of  the  landing  of  the  French, 
previous  to  Murphy's  letter,  yet  it  afforded  us  great 
satisfaction  to  see  by  it  that  our  friends  approved  of 
our  conduct  and  our  perseverance  in  keeping  our  ground. 


We  did  persevere  and  kept  our  ground  the  best  way 
we  could,  crossing  from  one  mountain  to  another,  defy- 
ing the  enemy  to  follow  us,  and  this  for  weeks,  until  we 
heard  of  the  surrender  of  General  Humbert  and  his 
small  army  of  eight  hundred  men,  to  Lord  Cornwallis, 
who,  it  was  said,  was  at  the  head  of  thirty  thousand 
English  troops.  Under  such  melancholy  circumstances, 
could  it  be  expected  that  Holt  could  have  had  sufficient 
influence  to  persuade  any  to  remain  with  him  who  could 
escape  to  their  homes,  and  hiding  there  in  the  most 
wretched  manner?  In  fact,  he  never  took  any  trouble 
one  way  or  another  about  them,  but  said,  all  those  who 
could  not  remain  at  their  houses  might  return  to  us, 
where  they  would  meet  a  kind  reception.  In  the  worst 
times  he  appeared  gay,  never  desponding.  I  have 
marched  with  him,  when  on  setting  out  we  were  not  able 
to  muster  a  hundred  men,  and  not  twenty  amongst  them 
ever  had  their  fire-arms  fit  for  use ;  yet  Holt  would  have 
his  plans  for  some  great  undertaking  as  if  he  were  at 
the  head  of  thousands  of  the  best  disciplined  troops. 
In  short,  he  had  qualities  which  quite  fitted  him  for  the 
kind  of  warfare  we  were  obliged  to  make  in  the  Wicklow 
mountains;  and  often  did  he  boast  that  we  were  the 
only  troops  under  arms  in  all  Ireland  fighting  for  its 
independence  at  the  time  the  French  landed  at  Killala. 
I  think  it  but  justice  to  say  so  much  of  Holt,  from  the 
many  strange  stories  that  have  been  told  of  him. 

My  brother  Hugh  and  I  not  having  heard  from  home 
for  a  long  time,  began  to  be  very  anxious  about  our 
dear  mother  and  sister,  whom  we  saw  for  the  last  time 
at  Buckstown  House,  the  night  of  the  battle  of  Bally- 
gullen.  We  resolved,  therefore,  at  all  hazard,  to  go  and 
see  them,  and  to  learn  also  the  state  of  the  country 
there.  To  accomplish  this,  we  had  two  or  three  night 
marches  before  us  to  make,  ere  we  could  reach  our 
place,  for  we  were  obliged  to  remain  concealed  during 


the  day.  The  last  night's  march  was  from  the  Gold 
Mines,  and  by  the  White  Heaps,  a  country  I  knew  well, 
and  through  which,  of  course,  we  needed  no  guide.  The 
distance  was  more  than  eight  miles  ;  besides  we  followed 
the  high  road  as  little  as  possible,  in  order  to  avoid 
meeting  with  the  enemy's  patrols.  All  this  made  the 
march  long  and  fatiguing ;  however  we  arrived  before 
daylight  at  the  house  of  one  of  our  tenants,  at  the  Fox 
Cover  farm.  I  knocked  at  the  door  and  poor  Maguire, 
knowing  my  voice,  opened  it  immediately.  He  told  me 
that  my  mother  and  sister,  with  their  faithful  servant 
Biddy  Cosker,  had  returned  to  our  house  and  had  been 
residing  there  for  some  time,  but  that  it  would  not  be 
safe  for  us  to  go  and  see  them.  That  his  wife  would 
go  in  the  morning  and  let  them  know  we  were  arrived. 
This  worthy  couple  kept  watching  whilst  we  reposed 
ourselves.  Next  day  my  mother  and  sister  came  to  see 
us.  They  had  already  arranged  with  Mr.  Fennell  that 
we  should  go  and  join  his  son  Matt  at  his  hiding-place 
on  a  hay  loft  at  Buckstown  House  belonging  to  Ralph 
Blaney  of  Carnew.  After  remaining  there  some  days, 
we  were  obliged  to  leave  it.  An  English  infantry  regi- 
ment came  and  encamped  on  the  lawn,  and  the  general 
and  staff  officers  lodged  in  the  dwelling-house.  A 
married  captain  of  the  regiment  took  lodging  for  him- 
self and  his  wife  at  Mr.  Fennell's  house,  which  the 
latter  regarded  as  a  fortunate  circumstance,  as  through' 
the  influence  of  this  captain,  he  expected  protection  for 
himself  and  his  family.  Mr.  Fennell  was  not  deceived ; 
this  captain  proved  himself  a  kind  friend  to  the  family 
when  they  stood  in  need  of  it  afterwards. 

My  brother  Hugh  got  an  opportunity  to  return  to 
Dublin,  with  some  carmen  or  carriers  of  the  neighbour- 
hood ;  most  fortunately  he  arrived  there  safely.  My 
poor  mother  and  sister  were  in  some  measure  reconciled 
to  his  quitting  them,  as  they  hoped  I  should  be  able  to 


remain  at  home  (when  the  country  became  more  settled), 
and  that  I  should  continue  to  manage  the  land,  etc.,  as 
I  had  been  accustomed  to  do  before  the  war  broke  out. 
Unhappily  they  soon  found  this  could  not  be. 

Mr.  Fennell  having  given  up  a  part  of  his  house  to  the 
English  captain  and  his  lady,  had  beds  put  up  in  his 
barn,  where  his  young  sons  slept,  and  where  a  bed  had 
been  placed  for  me  ;  of  this  I  availed  myself  with  infinite 

My  mother  and  sister,  wishing  me  to  spend  an  hour 
or  two  with  them  on  All-Hallows  eve,  I  set  off  from 
Mr.  Fennell's  house  as  soon  as  the  night  became  dark. 
I  had  been  sitting  with  them  about  ten  minutes,  when 
one  of  Mr.  Fennell's  sons,  a  lad  of  ten  or  twelve  years 
old,  came  running  in  out  of  breath  to  tell  me  that 
his  brother  Mat  was  taken  prisoner  by  the  Orangemen, 
and  that  they  were  searching  every  place  for  me.  My 
dear  sister,  who  had  shown  a  great  deal  of  self-posses- 
sion and  good  sense  all  through  those  terrible  times, 
thanked  young  Fennell  and  bid  him  return  quickly 
through  the  fields  to  avoid  meeting  the  yeomen.  She 
did  not  wish  the  poor  young  boy  to  be  in  the  secret  of 
the  place  where  I  was  to  take  refuge,  lest,  if  he  were  met 
and  tortured  by  these  monsters,  he  might  be  forced  to 
tell  all  he  knew  about  me.  As  soon  as  he  was  gone 
away,  she  told  me  that  Ned  Cane,  a  worthy  man  who 
lived  a  few  fields  distance,  at  the  other  side  of  the  road 
from  our  house,  told  her  some  days  before  that  if  I 
should  be  at  any  time  in  danger,  to  come  to  his  house, 
where  he  had  made  a  cave  or  cavern  in  which  I  could 
remain  for  days  in  perfect  safety  without  the  least 
danger  of  being  discovered.  Of  course  I  went  instantly 
and  took  up  my  new  abode  at  this  worthy  man's  house. 
The  entrance  into  his  cave  was  behind  the  fire-place  on 
the  ground  floor,  and  so  contrived  that  if  the  house 
was  burned,  the  persons  hiding  there  had  the  means  of 
escaping  by  another  issue  leading  into  the  fields. 


My  sister,  though  satisfied  that  I  was  in  no  danger  for 
the  moment,  knew  well  there  was  no  time  to  be  lost  to 
find  out  some  means  or  other  to  get  me  out  of  the  reach 
of  the  cruel  Orangemen,  whose  thirst  for  blood  seemed 
to  be  daily  increasing.  She  therefore  exerted  herself 
beyond  measure  till  at  length  she  had  the  good  fortune 
to  meet  with  a  worthy  lady  who  entered  into  all  her 
views  and  sympathized  with  her  in  all  her  sorrows.  Mrs. 
Ricards  of  Coolafancy,  kindly  volunteered  to  assist  my 
sister  in  every  way  to  get  me  safely  out  of  the  country. 
She  proposed  to  go  to  Dublin  under  pretext  of  taking 
one  of  her  children,  a  boy  of  ten  years  of  age,  to  place  at 
school  there,  and  that  I  should  drive  the  car  for  her ; 
but  she  feared  that  none  of  her  horses  were  in  a  state 
to  make  the  journey  in  one  day  (40  miles),  and  that  it 
would  be  unsafe  for  me  to  stop  on  the  way.  My  sister 
told  her  she  should  have  one  of  ours,  quite  equal  to  the 
task,  and  accordingly  the  horse  was  sent  to  Mrs.  Ricards, 
who  had  everything  ready,  and  only  waited  my  arrival 
to  set  out  on  our  journey.  On  learning  these  arrange- 
ments I  left  my  cave,  where  I  had  been  concealed  for 
about  seven  or  eight  days,  and  took  leave  of  Cane.  I 
thanked  him  with  gratitude  for  his  kind  hospitality,  and 
I  then  went  for  an  instant  to  take  a  parting  farewell  of 
my  dear  mother  and  sister,  and  from  thence  I  hurried 
to  Mrs.  Ricards,  a  distance  of  two  or  three  miles,  and 
this  lady  having  everything  prepared,  we  set  off  on  our 
journey  at  daylight,  and  we  nearly  reached  the  town  of 
Bray  without  meeting  with  any  impediment,  when  all  at 
once  we  saw  numbers  of  carmen  escaping  in  every 
direction  out  of  the  town  from  the  English  soldiers,  who 
were  pressing  horses  and  cars  to  transport  their  baggage, 
being  under  orders  to  march  to  the  North  of  Ireland. 

Mrs.  Ricards  at  once  decided  to  turn  off  the  road,  and 
to  go  as  quickly  as  possible  to  Enniskerry,  where  she 
hoped  we  could  pass  the  night,  at  the  house  of  a  lady 


who  had  been  her  school-fellow  and  friend  before  they 
were  married,  and  with  whom  she  still  kept  up  an  inti- 
macy. Fortunately  the  husband  was  absent  with  his 
corps  of  yeomen  cavalry,  for  he  was  not  only  a  Tory, 
but  a  bitter  Orangeman. 

When  we  arrived,  Mrs.  Ricards  and  her  little  son  John 
received  the  kindest  welcome  from  this  lady,  who 
thought  she  could  never  do  half  enough  for  her  former 
school-fellow  and  playmate,  Miss  Slater,  whilst  I  did 
not  fare  badly  in  the  kitchen.  Little  Ricards  thought  I 
was  slighted,  and  cried  out,  "  Mamma,  won't  Mr.  Byrne 
come  to  tea?" — This  exclamation  was  rather  awkward, 
as  his  mother  had  said  my  name  was  Doyle.  However, 
the  lady  of  the  house  was  too  well  bred  to  take  notice  of 
what  the  child  had  said.  The  next  morning  we  set  out 
at  daylight,  and  arrived  in  Dublin  on  the  ,ioth  of 
November,  1798,  at  an  early  hour,  and  put  up  at  a  car- 
man's inn  in  Kevin  Street,  where  my  step-brother  Ned 
Kennedy  came  and  brought  me  away  with  him  to  a 
hiding-place;  for  arrests  of  those  coming  from  the 
counties  of  Wexford  and  Wicklow  were  every  instant 
taking  place  throughout  the  city. 

Before  I  conclude  this  chapter,  I  must  express  my 
lasting  gratitude  to  Mrs.  Ricards  for  her  generous  and 
spirited  conduct  in  thus  getting  me  away  from  the  im- 
pending danger ;  indeed  I  feel  I  can  never  be  sufficiently 
grateful  towards  her. 

The  next  chapter  will  contain  the  account  of  the  way 
I  escaped  in  Dublin ;  my  acquaintance  with  poor  Robert 
Emmet,  and  the  part  I  took  in  his  unlucky  attempt; 
my  escape  from  Dublin,  and  my  arrival  in  Paris,  etc. 


IN  concluding  the  last  chapter,  I  mentioned  that  my 
step-brother,  Edward  Kennedy,  met  me  at  the  carman's 
inn  in  Kevin  Street,  on  my  arrival  in  Dublin.  He  has- 
tened to  bring  me  home  with  him,  and  to  have  me 
metamorphosed  from  appearing  a  car-driver  into  a 
respectable  Dublin  citizen.  Although  he  was  rather 
larger  and  taller  than  me,  yet  all  his  clothes  fitted  me 
tolerably  well,  particularly  a  long  brown  great  coat  with 
a  black  velvet  cape,  so  that  in  a  few  minutes  I  was 
completely  disguised  and  ready  to  walk  the  streets  arm- 
in-arm  with  him  to  my  new  abode.  On  our  way  I  was 
saluted  as  Mr.  Kennedy;  no  doubt  on  account  of  the 
long  great  coat  which  he  generally  wore  at  that  season 
when  going  out  on  business.  He  thought  his  house 
might  be  suspected  on  account  of  the  great  number  of 
those  who  escaped  to  Dublin  coming  to  it,  not  only  to 
(Une  with  him,  but  sometimes  to  remain  many  days  at  a 
time.  My  brother  was  very  generous,  and  thought  he 
could  never  do  half  enough  for  the  brave  men  who 
escaped  the  English  tyrants.  Unfortunately,  his  means 
were  inadequate  to  keep  open  house  for  all  those  who 
frequented  it,  he  being  a  county  Wexford  man.  I 
should  not  mention  these  circumstances,  which  possibly 
may  not  interest  the  general  reader,  but  on  account  of 
those  lamented  sufferers  in  the  sacred  cause  whom  my 
brother  was  in  the  habit  of  entertaining. 

Poor  Billy  Byrne  of  Ballymanus  dined  with  him  in 
New  Street  the  day  before  he  was  arrested.  I  sat  beside 
him  at  dinner.  Alas !  it  was  the  last  time  we  ever  met. 
Of  course  we  talked  over  our  misfortunes,  and  the  sad 
result  of  our  campaign.  He  had  not  the  most  distant 



idea  that  any  danger  awaited  him,  having  General 
Lake's  protection,  which  Brigade  Major  Fitzgerald  so 
kindly  obtained  for  him  at  Wexford,  and  in  virtue  of 
which,  and  on  its  guarantee,  he  had  for  months  walked 
about  the  streets  of  Dublin  almost  daily,  without  the 
least  apprehension  that  any  charge  could  be  brought 
against  him,  so  conscious  was  he  of  the  rectitude  of  his 
conduct  and  the  magnanimity  of  his  exertions  to  save 
the  lives  of  prisoners,  in  every  instance  where  he 
possessed  influence  during  the  insurrection,  and  very 
often  at  the  risk  of  his  own  life ;  for  it  was  no  easy 
matter  to  persuade  those  unfortunate  men  who  had  had 
their  nearest  and  dearest  relations  murdered  in  cold 
blood  by  the  Orangemen,  that  retaliation  could  not 
serve  their  cause.  Still  poor  Billy  Byrne  would  perse- 
vere in  his  humane  task,  and  succeeded  in  saving  many 
Orange  prisoners.  Some  of  these  very  men  were 
brought  to  Wicklow  to  swear  his  life  away.  It  sufficed 
that  he  had  enjoyed  sufficient  influence  to  save  these 
Orange  prisoners,  to  show  that  he  must  have  been  a 
chief.  So  according  to  the  "  justice  of  England  "  which 
then  prevailed  in  Ireland,  poor  Byrne  was  tried  and 
condemned  to  death,  and  executed  forthwith  ;  whilst  his 
brother  Garrett  Byrne,  who  was  a  real  and  distinguished 
chief  all  through  the  insurrection,  escaped,  because  he 
applied  to  a  man  of  honour  and  high  reputation,  General 
Sir  John  Moore,  and  not  to  Lake,  or  to  that  old  hypo- 
crite Lord  Cornwallis. 

After  poor  Billy  Byrne's  arrest,  my  brother  thought  it 
advisable  that  I  should  leave  the  city  for  some  time,  and 
go  and  hide  in  the  country  or  in  the  vicinity  of  Dublin. 
A  worthy  clergyman,  a  Catholic  priest,  the  Reverend 
John  Barret,  who  had  set  up  a  little  academy  at  Lucan, 
after  he  got  out  of  prison,  kindly  invited  me  to  his 
house ;  there  I  passed  several  days  very  agreeably  with 
him  and  the  little  boys  his  pupils.  It  was  during  my 


stay  with  Mr.  Barret  that  he  told  me  of  many  strange 
and  melancholy  occurrences  which  took  place  almost 
daily  amongst  the  State  prisoners,  with  all  of  whom  he 
was  on  the  most  intimate  footing — such    as    Emmet, 
Bond,  MacNeven,  Sampson,  O'Connor,  etc.,  but  particu- 
larly the  brave  and  unfortunate  William  Michael  Byrne, 
whom    he    accompanied   in  his  last  moments.       This 
heroic  martyr  to  his  country's  cause  was  one  of  the  first 
to  be  sacrificed  for  the  efforts  he  made  for  its  liberty  and 
redemption.     With  the  rope  about  his  neck,  going  to 
the  place  of  execution  from  his  cell,  knowing  he  should 
pass  by  the  window  where  Mrs.    Bond  was  with  her 
husband,  and  lest  she    should  see  him,  and    be    over- 
whelmed by  the  sight,  as  it  was  her  husband's  turn  next 
to  be  executed,  he  stooped  so  low  under  the  window, 
going  nearly  on  his  hands  and  feet,  as  not  to  be  seen  by 
her.     The  presence  of  mind  of  this  truly  great  man,  an 
instant  before  being  launched  into  eternity,  is  extra- 
ordinary indeed,  and  worthy  of  being  recorded  in  a  his- 
tory of  the  sufferings  of  Ireland. 

Being  informed  that  the  searching  for  the  men  of  the 
counties  of  Wexford  and  Wicklow,  supposed  to  be  hid- 
ing in  Dublin,  had  ceased,  I  took  my  leave  of  the  worthy 
priest,  Mr.  Barret,  thanking  him  for  his  kind  hospitality, 
and  returned  to  the  city;  but  when  I  arrived  at  my 
brother's  in  New  Street,  I  was  told  that  Hunter  Gowan, 
with  several  of  his  yeomen,  were  in  town,  and  that  he 
had  already  caused  many  men  to  be  arrested  in  Kevin 
Street.  The  poor  fellows  having  left  their  hiding  places 
and  gone  to  the  carmen's  inn,  there  to  endeavour  to  get 
news  from  their  homes  and  families,  thus  met  their  most 
cruel  foes,  before  they  had  an  opportunity  of  seeing  those 
county  of  Wexford  carriers,  who  arrived  in  Dublin  on 
Sunday,  to  be  in  time  for  the  markets  which  were  held 
on  Mondays. 

As  soon  as  I  learned  this  news,  and  that  a  general 


search  was  likely  to  be  made  throughout  those  districts 
or  houses  frequented  by  the  county  of  Wexford  people, 
I  made  haste  again  to  leave  the  town.  Mr.  George  Now- 
lan,  who  kept  a  hotel  at  Maynooth,  invited  me  to  spend 
a  few  days  there ;  I  had  also  an  invitation  to  the  lay 
college,  but  I  did  not  think  it  right  to  avail  myself  ol  it, 
fearing  a  student  might  be  expelled  for  harbouring  me 
there ;  so  after  passing  a  few  days  at  Maynooth,  I  re- 
turned to  my  brother's,  resolved  to  run  any  risk  rather 
than  quit  the  city,  which  offered  a  better  chance  for 
escaping  than  I  could  expect  in  the  country,  or  near 
Dublin.  But  I  had  to  remain  concealed  on  Sundays  and 
Mondays,  and  not  to  sleep  at  my  brother's  house,  in 
order  to  avoid  meeting  the  county  Wexford  and 
Wicklow  Orangemen,  who  were  generally  seen  parading 
the  streets  during  those  days.  After  passing  a  month  in 
this  melancholy,  uncertain  way,  my  health  unfortunately 
failed,  though  my  courage  never  did.  I  fell  sick,  and  Ead 
so  severe  an  illness  that  it  was  thought  I  could  not  re- 
cover. But  my  dear  brother  had  every  care  taken  of  me, 
and  as  soon  as  I  became  convalescent,  being  ordered 
change  of  air,  he  took  lodgings  for  me  at  Booterstown 
Lane,  near  a  place  where  he  was  going  to  build  two 
houses.  I  was  to  be  the  overseer  or  superintendent,  and 
to  book  down  the  materials,  the  bricks,  the  lime,  sand, 
etc.,  and  to  give  receipts  for  them  when  delivered,  and  to 
pay  all  the  workmen  on  the  Saturday  evenings.  I  felt 
the  greatest  pleasure  in  being  thus  employed  ;  it  afforded 
me  an  opportunity  of  making  myself  in  some  way  useful 
to  him  who  had  already  been  at  such  expense  and  taken 
so  much  trouble  to  prevent  my  falling  into  the  hands  of 
those  relentless  villains,  whom  nothing  could  satisfy  but 

This  occupation,  besides  being  useful  to  my  brother, 
was  conducive  to  my  recovery.  I  generally  went  to 
town  late  on  Saturday  evening,  and  returned  late  on 


Sunday  evening,  to  be  at  my  post  early  on  Monday 
morning,  to  see  that  the  workmen  were  arrived  and  had 
resumed  their  labour.  This  regular  occupation,  and  the 
sea  air  and  tolerably  good  living,  restored  my  health, 
which  had  been  so  much  injured,  to  its  natural  state. 
My  spirits  also  got  better.  The  war  with  France  was 
going  on,  and  I  hoped  consequently  that  there  was  still 
something  good  in  store  for  poor  Ireland.  The  worthy 
Father  Connelly,  who  had  suffered  imprisonment  in  the 
cause,  was  the  parish  priest  at  Booterstown  Lane.  I 
spent  many  instructive  evenings  with  him,  talking  over 
the  state  of  the  country  after  the  Union.  He  was  an 
extremely  well-informed,  enlightened  man,  and  I  listened 
to  his  conversation  with  delight,  and  I  must  say  I  felt  not 
a  little  vain  of  the  confidence  he  seemed  to  place  in  me. 
He  wished  me  to  be  acquainted  with  his  friend,  Coun- 
sellor MacCanna,  who,  he  said,  would  soon  publish  a 
narrative  of  the  cold-blooded  murders  perpetrated  at 
Carnew  and  other  places,  previous  to  the  insurrection. 
This  work  never  appeared.  -The  Counsellor  having  got 
a  pension,  thought  it  would  answer  no  purpose  to  pub- 
lish such  things.  Very  likely  Father  Connelly  never 
knew  the  reason  why  the  work  did  not  come  out. 

I  have  already  mentioned  in  this  memoir  the  result  of 
my  interview  with  this  gentleman,  Mr.  MacCanna ;  he 
being  a  Roman  Catholic,  and  considered  a  good  lawyer, 
was  expected  to  expose  to  the  world  the  foul  deeds  of 
the  cruel  ascendancy  of  that  period,  having  collected  the 
necessary  documents  for  such  a  publication. 

Many  of  the  brave  county  of  Wexford  men  who 
escaped  from  the  disasters  of  the  Boyne,  took  refuge  in 
Booterstown  Lane,  and  were  living  in  wretched  little 
cabins  in  the  back  allies,  with  their  female  relations, 
mothers,  sisters,  wives,  etc.,  all  having  abandoned  their 
homes.  Amongst  them  were  Stephen  and  Pat  Murray, 
of  Croom ;  the  latter  was  our  standard-bearer  of  the 


Monaseed  corps.  He  was  a  determined,  fine  fellow,  who 
guarded  our  beautiful  green  colours  throughout  all  the 
battles  of  the  counties  of  Wexford  and  Wicklow. 
There  was  also  John  Purcell,  the  son  of  a  respectable 
mill  owner  near  Craneford,  an  intrepid,  fine  young 
man,  whom  I  had  occasion  to  see  in  the  most  perilous 
situations,  and  who  distinguished  himself  to  the  ad- 
miration of  all  who  shared  the  same  danger.  I 
felt  the  greatest  satisfaction  at  having  it  in  my  power 
to  render  some  service  to  these  unfortunate  and 
brave  men.  My  brother  allowed  me  to  employ  them  at 
any  work  they  were  capable  of  performing;  so  they 
riddled  sand,  mixed  mortar,  etc.,  etc.,  and  were  paid  like 
the  others,  and  this  occupation  kept  them  out  of  harm's 
way,  and  enabled  them  to  support  their  families  until 
something  better  offered. 

I  boarded  and  lodged  with  an  honest,  blunt  man,  of 
the  name  of  Burnet ;  he  was  from  the  north  of  Ireland. 
He  kept  a  huckster's  shop,  and  sold  all  kinds  of  groceries. 
Of  course,  the  men  employed  at  the  buildings  dealt 
with  him,  and  they  found  it  convenient  to  have  such 
good  things  so  near,  and  credit  to  the  end  of  the  week. 

My  punctuality  in  returning  on  Sunday  night  im- 
pressed Burnet  for  some  time  with  the  idea  that  creditors 
might  contribute  to  my  exactness,  and  I  was  not  sorry 
he  should  think  so. 

I  had  frequently  visits  from  my  friends  during  the 
week,  viz.,  the  Reverend  Father  Barret,  who  had  given 
up  his  school  at  Lucan,  and  returned  to  Francis  Street 
Chapel ;  Neddy  Byrne,  of  Ballymanus,  and  many  others. 
I  accompanied  Neddy  Byrne  one  day  to  call  on  a  rich 
merchant  at  his  counting  house,  of  the  name  of  Maguire, 
who  traded  with  Hamburg,  and  had  just  returned  from 
that  city,  where  he  had  seen  Garrett  Byrne.  Wishing  to 
let  the  family  hear  of  their  relative,  Mr.  Maguire  sent 
word  to  Neddy  Byrne  to  call  on  him.  The  latter,  of 


course,  expected  to  have  some  agreeable  conversation 
about  his  brother,  with  this  wealthy  hemp  and  flax  mer- 
chant ;  but,  on  the  contrary  Maguire  told  him  at  once, 
that  it  would  be  necessary  for  him  and  his  two  sisters, 
Nellie  and  Fanny  Byrne,  to  sign  a  deed  giving  up  all 
claim  to  the  Ballymanus  estate,  before  anything  could 
be  done  for  their  brother  Garrett,  then  an  exile  at  Ham- 
burg and  in  great  want  of  money.  I  cannot  forget 
Byrne's  exclamation  when  he  came  out  to  join  me : 
"  How  could  I  have  expected  anything  good  from  a 
fellow  covered  with  borrough !" — the  Irish  term  for  tow. 

My  time  passed  on  at  Booterstown  Lane  well  enough, 
till  the  news  came  of  the  peace  of  Amiens  in  March, 
1802,  which  to  me  were  sad  tidings  indeed.  I  had  an  in- 
vitation to  dine  that  same  day  with  a  very  worthy  couple, 
a  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Byrne  of  Townsend  Street.  After  dinner 
Mrs.  Byrne  asked  me  to  accompany  a  young  lady,  Miss 
Lawless,  a  cousin  of  hers  (and  whom  I  believe,  she  and 
her  husband  had  adopted,  having  no  children  of  their 
own),  to  see  the  illuminations  through  the  city  of  Dublin. 
Of  course,  I  could  not  refuse.  Although  Miss  Lawless 
was  a  nice  sprightly  young  girl,  who  took  every  pains 
to  show  me  all  the  magnificent  public  buildings,  blazing 
with  lights,  and  quite  surpassing  anything  of  the  land 
I  had  ever  witnessed,  I  felt  completely  cast  down  and 
dull.  My  spirits  sunk,  my  hopes  vanished.  I  felt  quite 
ashamed  of  being  in  this  state  reconducting  Miss  Law- 
less home,  but  I  could  not  help  it.  Mrs.  Byrne  rallied  me 
and  said  she  was  sorry  to  see  that  the  rejoicings  did  not 
seem  to  amuse  me  much.  After  taking  some  refresh- 
ments, I  took  my  leave  of  them.  The  next  time  I  called 
I  was  finely  joked  for  being  such  a  dull  company  to  a 
young  lady! 

I  felt  unnerved  and  disappointed  at  the  news  of  the 
peace.  I  had  been  living  in  hopes  that  ere  the  war  ter- 
minated, something  good  would  be  done  for  poor  Ireland 


But  now,  alas !  all  that  ceased,  and,  for  the  first  time,  I 
began  to  think  seriously  about  my  own  situation.  Having 
no  possession  by  which  I  could  make  a  livelihood  except 
farming  or  agriculture,  in  which  I  had  acquired  some 
knowledge  on  our  own  land,  previous  to  the  insurrection, 
I  often  thought  of  going  to  America.  But  what  could  I 
do  there  without  capital  ?  And  I  was  not  master  of  any. 

A  very  worthy  man,  a  Mr.  Daniel  Keogh,  a  school 
master,  from  whom  I  had  learned  the  little  I  knew  of 
arithmetic,  mensuration,  etc.,  being  obliged  to  reside  in 
Dublin,  and  being  an  excellent  professor  of  book-keep- 
ing, cheerfully  came  to  give  me  lessons  in  that  branch 
of  learning.  My  step-brother  now  thought  that  with  the 
instructions  he  could  himself  give  me,  I  might  replace 
the  clerk  who  kept  his  books,  who  sold  and  measured 
the  timber,  etc.  In  a  very  short  time  I  was  quite  equal 
to  the  business,  which  afforded  great  pleasure  to  my 
dear  brother,  and  gave  me  rather  an  agreeable  occupa- 
tion. Though  often  busily  employed  in  the  timber  yard, 
I  could  see  my  friends,  and  know  something  of  what  was 
going  on  in  the  public  world,  during  this  short  peace, 
which  I  trusted  would  not  last  long ;  and  indeed  I  was 
not  deceived,  for  in  the  spring  of  1803,  the  hostilities  re- 
commenced between  England  and  France. 

It  was  about  this  time  that  I  became  acquainted  with 
a  Mr.  Norris,  a  young  man  of  very  pleasing  manners,  who 
had  been  set  up  in  a  tannery  concern  at  Dolphin's  Barn, 
by  Mr.  John  Patten,  the  brother-in-law  of  Thomas  Addis 
Emmet.  Of  course,  Mr.  Norris  and  I  had  many  conver- 
sations about  that  truly  patriotic  Irish  family;  I  telling 
him  the  kind  and  disinterested  part  Mr.  T.  A.  Emmet 
took  to  obtain  justice  for  the  Ballyellis  yeomanry,  dis- 
banded and  disarmed  by  their  chief,  Sir  John  Jervis 
White,  previous  to  the  insurrection  on  the  pretext  and 
suspicion  of  their  being  United  Irishmen.  On  this  Mr. 
Norris  asked  me  if  I  should  not  like  to  know  the 


youngest  brother,  Robert  Emmet,  who  had  just  re- 
turned from  France,  having  parted  with  his  brother 
Thomas  at  Paris.  I  need  not  say  how  delighted  I  was 
at  the  prospect  of  being  introduced  to  a  young  patriot, 
of  whom  I  had  heard  already  so  much  that  I  was  quite 
prepossessed  in  his  favour  and  longed  much  to  see  him. 
Next  day  we  met  at  Mr.  Norris's,  who  after  introducing 
us  to  each  other,  left  us  and  went  away  on  his  own 
business.  Mr.  Emmet  soon  told  me  his  plans.  He  said 
he  wished  to  be  acquainted  with  all  those  who  had 
escaped  in  the  war  of  '98,  and  who  continued  still  to 
enjoy  the  confidence  of  the  people ;  that  he  had  been 
enquiring  since  his  return,  and  even  at  Paris.  He  was 
pleased  to  add  that  he  had  heard  my  name  mentioned 
amongst  them,  etc.  He  entered  into  many  details  of 
what  Ireland  had  to  expect  from  France  in  the  way  of 
assistance,  now  that  that  country  was  so  energetically 
governed  by  the  first  Consul  Buonaparte ;  but  Buona- 
parte feared  that  the  Irish  people  might  be  changed, 
and  careless  about  their  independence,  in  consequence 
of  the  union  with  England.  It  became  obvious,  there- 
fore, that  this  impression  should  be  removed  as  soon  as 
possible.  Mr.  R.  Emmet  told  me  the  station  his  brother 
held  in  Paris,  and  that  the  different  members  of  the 
Government  there  frequently  consulted  him.  All  of 
them  were  of  opinion  that  a  demonstration  should  be 
made  by  the  Irish  patriots  to  prove  that  they  were  as 
ready  as  ever  to  shake  off  the  English  yoke.  To 
which  Mr.  Thomas  Addis  Emmet  replied :  it  would  be 
cruel  to  commit  the  poor  Irish  people  again,  and  to  drive 
them  into  another  rebellion  before  they  received  assist- 
ance from  France ;  but  at  the  same  time  he  could  assure 
the  French  Government  that  a  secret  organisation  was 
then  going  on  throughout  Ireland,  but  more  particularly 
in  the  city  of  Dublin,  where  large  depots  of  arms,  and  of 
every  kind  of  ammunition,  were  preparing  with  the 


greatest  secrecy,  as  none  but  the  tried  men  of  1798  were 
entrusted  with  the  management  of  those  stores  and 

After  giving  me  this  explanation,  Mr.  Robert  Emmet 
added :  "  If  the  brave  and  unfortunate  Lord  Edward 
Fitzgerald  and  his  associates  felt  themselves  justified  in 
seeking  to  redress  Ireland's  grievances  by  taking  the 
field,  what  must  not  be  our  justification,  now  that  not  a 
vestige  of  self-government  exists,  in  consequence  of  the 
accursed  Union.  Until  this  most  barbarous  act  or  trans- 
action took  place,  from  time  to  time,  in  spite  of  corruption, 
useful  local  laws  were  enacted  for  Ireland.  Now  seven- 
eighths  of  the  population  have  no  right  to  send  a  mem- 
ber of  their  body  to  represent  them,  even  in  a  foreign 
Parliament,  and  the  other  eighth-part  of  the  population 
are  the  tools  and  task-masters,  acting  for  the  cruel  Eng- 
lish Government  and  its  Irish  ascendancy — a  monster 
still  worse,  if  possible,  than  foreign  tyranny." 

Mr.  Emmet  mentioned  again  the  promises  obtained 
from  the  chief  of  the  French  Government,  given  to  him- 
self, his  brother,  and  other  leaders,  that  in  the  event  of  a 
French  army  landing  in  Ireland,  it  should  be  considered 
as  an  auxiliary  one,  and  received  on  the  same  principle 
as  General  Rochambeau  and  his  army  were  received  by 
the  American  people,  when  fighting  for  their  indepen- 
dence. He  added :  "  That  though  no  one  could  abhor 
more  than  he  did  the  means  by  which  the  First  Consul 
came  to  be  at  the  head  of  the  French  nation,  still  he  was 
convinced,  that  this  great  military  chief  would  find  it  his 
interest  to  deal  fairly  by  the  Irish  nation,  as  the  best 
and  surest  way  to  obtain  his  ends  with  England :  he 
therefore  thought  the  country  should  be  organized  and 
prepared  for  those  great  events,  which  were  now  inevi- 
table. That,  as  for  himself,  he  was  resolved  to  risk  his 
life,  and  to  stake  the  little  fortune  he  possessed,  for  the 
accomplishment  of  those  preparations  so  necessary  for 


the  redemption   of  our  unfortunate  country  from  the 
hands  of  a  cruel  enemy. 

Mr.  Emmet's  powerful,  persuasive  language,  and 
sound  reason,  all  coming  from  the  heart,  left  it  impos- 
sible for  any  Irishman,  impressed  with  a  desire  for  his 
country's  independence,  to  make  any  objection  to  his 
plans  (particularly  as  Ireland's  great  opportunity  seemed 
now  to  have  arrived  for  her  freedom),  save  to  bide  the 
proper  time,  and  wait  for  French  aid.  For  my  own  part, 
I  had  no  objections  to  make.  I  merely  observed  that  I 
trusted  the  poor  county  of  Wexford,  and  the  other  parts 
which  suffered  in  1798,  would  be  spared  until  Dublin  was 
ready  to  begin  and  take  the  lead  in  the  struggle ;  that 
for  the  accomplishment  of  this  enterprise  there  were 
more  than  three  hundred  brave  county  of  Wexford 
fellows  who  escaped  in  '98  and  who  took  refuge  in 
Dublin  and  the  environs,  on  whom  we  could  count  when 
the  time  for  action  arrived,  and  that  with  the  aid  of 
those  tried  men,  and  with  the  brave  Kildare  men  and 
Dublin  citizens,  I  trusted  success  was  certain. 

We  settled  in  this  first  interview  how  we  were  to  meet, 
without  inconvenience  to  me,  as  I  was  a  good  deal 
occupied  in  the  office  and  timber-yard.  At  the  bottom 
of  this  yard  there  was  a  small  garden,  and  instead  of 
enquiring  for  me  at  the  office,  Mr.  Emmet,  when  he 
called,  walked  into  this  garden,  where  I  immediately 
joined  him.  If  I  happened  to  be  out  on  business,  he 
went  to  Mr.  John  Palmer's  New  Road,  on  the  Pottle, 
where  he  left  any  message  he  might  have  for  me  with 
Miss  Biddy  Palmer,  in  whom  he  placed  implicit  confi- 
dence ;  and  indeed  no  one  was  ever  more  worthy  of 
such  trust  than  this  young  lady,  who  had  suffered 
severely  in  1798  by  her  father's  imprisonment  and  the 
ruin  of  his  affairs,  her  brother's  exile,  and  death  on  the 
Continent.  Still  she  bore  up  under  all  her  misfortunes 
like  a  heroine  of  the  olden  times,  and  was  a  comfort  and 


a  consolation  to  her  family  and  friends.  I  did  not 
introduce  my  brother  to  Mr.  Emmet,  but  he  knew  who 
he  was,  and  when  he  called  in  my  absence  Mr.  Kennedy 
merely  told  him  that  I  was  out,  and  the  time  when  I 
should  be  returned.  Nothing  more  was  to  pass  between 
them.  When  I  came  back  and  heard  that  Mr.  Emmet 
had  called,  I  went  to  Miss  Palmer's  where  I  either  met 
him,  or  got  the  message  he  left  for  me  with  this  young 
lady.  As  to  the  secrecy  to  be  observed  on  the  vast 
preparations  now  making,  Mr.  Emmet  said  he  was 
satisfied  we  had  nothing  to  dread,  as  none  but  those  who 
were  already  well  known  to  have  suffered  in  the  cause 
of  Ireland  would  be  employed,  and  consequently  every 
confidence  was  placed  in  them.  For  this  reason,  no  test, 
no  oath  was  taken  by  any  one  during  those  prepara- 
tions and  organization,  which  was  to  extend  throughout 
the  country. 

At  our  next  meeting  Mr.  Emmet  told  me  of  the  house 
he  had  taken  in  the  lane  near  Thomas  Street,  where  he 
intended  to  establish  a  large  depot  of  ammunition,  fire- 
arms of  every  description,  pikes,  etc.,  from  which 
the  Kildare  men  would  be  armed  to  take  the  city.  He 
also  told  me  of  his  intention  to  take  a  house  in  Patrick 
Street,  as  a  depot,  where  war  stores  of  various  kinds 
would  be  prepared,  and  from  which  stores  the  counties 
of  Wexford  and  Wicklow  men  would  be  supplied  when 
the  time  for  action  arrived  Mr.  Emmet  wished  to 
know,  on  account  of  the  experience  I  must  nave  had  in 
the  insurrection  of  '98,  my  opinion  about  pike  bandies. 
I  advised  him  to  have  them  made  of  red  dea1,  as  it 
would  be  tedious  and  difficult  to  procure  the  quantity 
necessary  of  ash  wood  I  told  him  that  by  choosing 
boards  three  inches  thick,  without  knots,  and  eight  or 
nine  feet  long,  a  deep  cut  in  the  centre  and  five  flat 
cuts  in  each  board  would  produce  twelve  handles.  He, 
being  satisfied  with  this  explanation,  gave  me  an  order 


to  have  seven  or  eight  thousand  got  ready  as  soon  as 
possible.  A  trustworthy  man  of  the  name  of  Ned 
Condon,  to  whom  he  introduced  me,  came  regularly  to 
the  timber-yard,  dressed  as  a  carman,  and  took  away 
those  boards  to  the  depot  in  the  lane  in  Thomas  Street. 

Mr.  Emmet  then  devised  what  were  called  the  hollow 
beams,  for  the  purpose  of  conveying  with  safety  the 
pikes  when  mounted  at  the  Thomas  Street  depot,  to 
the  smaller  one  through  the  town.  A  piece  of  timber 
eighteen  inches  square,  ten  feet  long,  had  its  outside 
slabs  sawed  off  about  an  inch  and  a  half  thick ;  then 
one  foot  long  of  each  end  of  this  beam  was  cut  off,  and 
on  those  two  blocks  three  of  the  slabs  were  nailed  or 
spiked  firmly,  whilst  the  fourth  slab,  serving  as  the  lid, 
was  screwed  on.  When  mud  was  carelessly  spattered 
on  the  joints,  no  one  could  think  that  the  beam  was 
hollow,  though  eight  feet  long  of  it  was  a  complete 
case  in  which  the  mounted  pikes  were  packed. 

After  we  had  settled  all  things  respecting  the  pike 
handles,  Mr.  Emmet  told  me  he  should  want  a  number 
of  pocket  pistols,  the  barrels  of  which  must  only  be  four 
inches  long,  and  the  calibre  to  admit  a  soldier's  musket 
cartridge.  He  also  said  he  would  want  a  vast  number  of 
short  blunderbusses ;  he  asked  me  if  I  knew  a  gunsmith 
to  whom  we  could  apply  with  safety  to  furnish  those 
articles;  I  answered  that  I  happened  to  know  one  in 
whom  I  could  place  the  greatest  confidence,  and  whose 
curiosity  would  never  lead  him  to  inquire  whether  the 
fire-arms  were  destined  for  smugglers  or  privateers.  We 

then  agreed  that  I  should  get  Mr.  M ,  the  gunsmith, 

to  make  a  pair  of  pistols  and  a  blunderbuss  of  the  kind 
we  described,  and  when  finished  he  was  to  leave  them 
with  me.  As  I  kept  the  key  of  the  oat-bin  in  the  stable, 
I  locked  these  arms  there  till  Mr.  Emmet  called.  When 
he  examined  them  and  heard  the  low  price,  he  was 
delighted  to  know  that  such  articles  could  be  made  sa 


cheap  with  locks  and  barrels  perfect,  and  though  the 
workmanship  might  have  been  better,  and  the  polish 
higher,  still  they  were  all  that  could  be  required  for  the 
use  to  which  they  were  destined. 

Mr.  Emmet  being  quite  satisfied,  desired  me  to  order 
one  hundred  pair  of  the  pocket  pistols,  and  three  hun- 
dred of  the  blunderbusses ;  the  barrels  of  the  latter  to 
be  of  the  same  iron  or  metal  as  the  pistols,  which  would 
cost  less  than  brass  ones ;  and  seeing  the  promptitude 
with  which  those  first  fire-arms  were  made  and  delivered, 

he  bid  me  tell  Mr.  M the  gunsmith,  to  continue 

getting  the  blunderbusses  made,  and  to  say  that  any 
money  he  wanted  should  be  advanced  to  him ;  but  this 
worthy  man  would  accept  none  till  his  merchandise  was 
safely  delivered.  These  details  may  not  interest  the 
reader,  but  they  will  show,  that  when  one  individual  out 
of  the  many  engaged  in  this  enterprise,  could  contribute 
as  I  did,  that  the  plan  was  extensive  and  carefully  carried 
on,  so  as  to  offer  every  chance  of  success. 

As  Mr.  Emmet  on  coming  to  town  from  Harold's 
Cross,  passed  by  our  house,  we  met  almost  every  day, 
and  every  day  he  had  something  new  to  tell  me  about 
the  preparations,  which,  he  said,  were  progressing 
rapidly,  thanks,  he  added,  to  the  exertions  of  those  true 
patriots  who  did  not  fear  to  identify  themselves  with 
him,  if  they  could  redeem  their  country  and  throw  off 
the  foreign  yoke. 

One  morning  he  called  earlier  than  usual,  to  tell  me 
that  there  was  then  a  house  to  let  in  Patrick  Street, 
which  was  sufficiently  extensive  for  the  depot  and 
military  stores  which  we  wanted;  that  he  was  going 
into  town  to  try  to  get  a  person  to  go  at  once  and 
secure  it,  but  lest  he  should  fail,  he  bid  me  be  on  the 
look  out  for  some  one;  that  a  married  man  would  be 
preferable.  In  a  few  minutes  after  he  left  me,  Mr. 
Macintosh,  a  worthy  Scotch  patriot,  who  had  been 


settled  in  Dublin  for  some  years,  and  who  was  married 
to  an  Irishwoman,  a  Miss  Keenan,  called  to  buy  timber. 
I  told  him  that  Mr.  Emmet  wanted  some  one  of  our 
friends  to  take  a  lease  of  a  house  in  Patrick  Street.  He 
immediately  volunteered  to  go  about  it. 

A  short  explanation  is  necessary  to  show  why  Scotch- 
men were  concerned  in  our  preparations.     Previous  to 
his     leaving     France,     Mr.     Robert    Emmet     became 
acquainted  with  a  young  Scotchman,  of  the  name  of 
Campbell,  who  resided  in  a  town  of  Normandy  on  the 
sea  coast ;  this  young  man  had  it  in  his  power  not  only 
to  render  a  service  to  Mr.   Emmet  in  getting  him  a 
passage,  but  he  gave  him  introductions  and  a  clew  to  the 
Scotch  patriots  of  the  Muir  standing,  and  consequently 
lo  all  of  them  residing  in  Ireland.      Macintosh  being 
amongst  the  latter,  rejoiced  to  have  it  in  his  power  to 
contribute  to  the  freedom  of  Ireland.     But  alas !  his  fate 
differed  widely  from  that  of  young  Campbell ;  the  latter, 
by  the  interest  of  Thomas  Addis  Emmet  with  the  first 
Consul  and  the  French  Government,  got  the  rank  of 
officer   in   the   Irish  legion   on   its   formation   in    1803. 
Though  these  grades  were  to  be  exclusively  for  Irish- 
men,   or    their   sons   born    in    France,    recompensing 
Campbell  in  this  manner  showed  the  respect  paid  to  the 
memory  of  poor  Robert  Emmet,  and  the  high  considera- 
tion his  brother  enjoyed  in  France. 

Mr.  Emmet  gave  the  money  necessary  to  Macintosh, 
who  went  immediately  and  took  the  house  in  Patrick 
Street,  paid  six  months  in  advance,  got  the  lease  in  his 
own  name,  and  then  set  to  work  to  make  the  changes 
in  the  house  according  to  Mr.  Emmet's  instructions. 
About  this  time  Michael  Quigley,  who  had  gone  to 
France  after  the  peace  of  Amiens,  returned  to  Dublin : 
he  being  a  skilful  bricklayer,  and  Macintosh  an  in- 
genious carpenter,  they  contrived  and  made  secret 
closets  from  the  ground  floor  to  the  garret,  which  could 


never  be  suspected  or  discovered,  except  by  those  who 
were  in  the  secret.  These  secret  closets  were  large 
enough  to  hold  pikes,  fire-arms  and  ammunition  for  ten 
thousand  men. 

Mr.  Emmet  prayed  me  to  get  six  hundred  jointed 
pike  handles  prepared  by  a  turner,  one  half  to  be  three 
feet  long,  the  other  half  two  feet  and  a-half  long ;  on 
the  end  of  this  last  was  to  be  placed  a  small  carbine 
bayonet,  or  a  small  pike  head,  not  exceeding  six  inches 
in  length.  This  handle  extended  and  stretched  out  was 
six  feet  long ;  when  doubled  up,  it  was  only  three  feet 
long,  which  made  it  easy  to  be  carried  and  concea^d 
under  a  great  coat  These  handles  were  on  the  prin- 
ciple of  a  parasol  handle  that  doubled  up,  joined  together 
by  a  small  hinge.  A  tube  six  inches  long  covered  the 
joint,  pressed  forward  three  inches  and  then  was  stopped 
by  a  pin.  A  small  spring  started  up  behind  to  keep  it 
on  the  joint  equal  on  both  sides.  Thus  it  became  quite 
solid,  and  easier  managed  than  a  soldier's  musket  and 
bayonet.  With  this  weapon  and  a  blunderbuss  slung 
with  a  belt  from  a  man's  shoulder,  he  had  great  advan- 
tage in  close  quarters  with  the  enemy,  as  it  was  much 
easier  to  charge  the  blunderbuss  than  the  musket. 

Mr.  Emmet  had  several  square  beams^  twelve  feet 
long,  sent  to  the  depot  at  Thomas  Street,  which  he 
intended  to  have  got  bored  with  a  small  pump  auger, 
not  in  the  centre,  but  nearer  one  side,  and  the  hole  was 
to  be  perforated  to  within  one  foot  of  the  end,  and  then 
filled  with  powder  till  it  came  to  a  foot  from  the  mouth. 
The  hole  was  then  stopped  with  a  plug  a  foot  long,  of 
the  same  diameter,  well  spiked  to  prevent  it  from 
coming  out.  A  touch-hole  was  to  be  perforated  in  the 
middle  of  the  beam  on  the  side  which  the  bore  ap- 
proached the  nearest,  and  a  pivot  set  on  each  end  on 
which  common  car  wheels  were  placed  and  turned.  Two 
cases  five  feet  long  each,  filled  with  small  stones  and 


combustibles  were  to  be  placed  at  the  top  of  the  beam. 
The  explosion  of  this  machine  placed  as  an  obstacle 
before  the  enemy  must  have  a  terrible  effect. 

Scientific  experiments  of  various  kinds  were  to  be  tried 
at  the  depot  at  Patrick  Street.  In  consequence  of  the 
continual  passage  there,  it  was  thought  advisable  not  to 
employ  too  many  at  this  depot,  lest  their  going  in  and 
out  from  so  populous  a  street  might  cause  suspicions. 
The  two  Keenans,  Macintosh's  brothers-in-law,  were  to 
be  among  those  who  were  to  be  employed  and  entrusted 
with  the  secret.  A  man  of  the  name  of  Darby  Byrne, 
who  had  been  condemned  to  be  shot  after  the  insur- 
rection of  the  county  of  Wexford,  saved  himself  by 
enlisting  into  the  English  service.  He  was  discharged 
after  the  peace  of  Amiens,  and  being  afraid  to  return  to 
his  own  home  amongst  the  Orangemen  of  his  neigh- 
bourhood, he  applied  to  me  to  see  if  I  could  get  him 
anything  to  do.  He  had  no  trade  ;  he  said  he  had  some- 
times been  employed  making  ball  cartridges.  He  was 
sober  and  well  behaved,  and  as  a  proof  that  the  contact 
with  the  mercenary  soldiers  did  not  affect  his  morals, 
he  had  money  which  he  had  saved  in  the  service.  Mr. 
Emmet  was  quite  pleased  to  have  such  a  worthy  person 
placed  as  an  inmate  at  the  depot 

There  was  a  man  who  went  by  the  name  of  Johnstone, 
who  had  spent  several  years  in  the  East  India  service, 
where  he  had  frequently  been  employed  in  preparing 
fire- works.  Perhaps  this  man  with  Robert  Emmet  were 
the  real  inventors  of  those  rockets,  latterly  universally 
known  under  the  appellation  of  Congreve  rockets — be 
that  as  it  may,  I  think  it  only  right  to  relate  here  all  I 
know  of  the  matter.  At  Mr.  Emmet's  request  I  called 

on  Mr.  M the  gunsmith,  and  showed  him  a  strong 

piece  of  paper  shaped  in  a  certain  way,  which  was  to 
serve  as  a  model  to  have  tubes  twenty  inches  long,  two 
and  a-half  inches  diameter,  cut  out  of  strong  sheet  iron ; 



as  soldering  would  be  liable  to  melt  with  the  fire,  they 
were  to  be  clasped  and  well  hammered  on  the  joints, 
which  would  render  them  quite  solid.  The  sloped  shape 
at  one  end  formed  a  point  like  an  arrow.  The  gunsmith 
soon  brought  me  a  tube  made  after  the  model  with 
which  both  Mr.  Emmet  and  Johnstone  were  well 
pleased  Consequently  I  had  to  tell  him  to  have  several 
hundreds  of  the  same  description  made  as  soon  as 

Johnstone  set  to  work  mixing  the  ingredients  to  fill 
those  tubes,  composed  of  powder,  nitre,  sulphur,  etc., 
and  when  this  stuff  was  prepared,  it  had  the  appearance 
of  wet  mortar.  But  everything  was  done  according  to 
Mr.  Emmet's  instructions ;  he  consulted  a  scientific 
work  respecting  the  way  such  materials  should  be  pre- 
pared, and  even  the  way  the  tubes  were  to  be  filled,  the 
size  of  each  portion  to  be  put  in  at  a  time,  the  weight  of 
the  hammer,  the  plug  to  drive  it  down,  the  number  of 
strokes  to  be  given  before  another  portion  was  put 

An  iron  needle  was  placed  in  the  centre  of  the  tube 
around  which  the  mortar  was  tempered,  and  when  the 
needle  was  drawn  out,  the  hole  was  then  filled  with 
powder.  Thus  prepared,  they  were  to  be  fastened  with 
strong  wire  to  a  slight  pole  about  eight  feet  long  at  one 
end ;  and  from  the  other  end  a  card  prepared  as  a  fuse 
would  convey  the  fire  to  the  mouth  of  the  tube.  A  small 
trestle  four  feet  high  was  provided  on  which  the  pole  was 
to  rest  to  be  poised  and  sent  off  in  the  direction  of  the 
enemy.  Hand  grenades  and  other  such  missiles  were 
getting  ready  as  rapidly  as  could  be  expected,  as  well  as 
the  pikes,  at  the  Thomas  Street  depot.  Besides  the  two 
depots,  four  houses  were  procured  in  different  parts  of 
the  town,  the  most  convenient  to  have  pikes  and  arms 
deposited  safely  in  them.  It  may  be  seen  by  these 
arrangements,  that  ample  means  could  be  counted  on 

MEMOIRS  OF  MILES  BYRNE.      •  259 

for  arming  the  citizens  who  intended  taking  a  part  in 
the  struggle.  It  is  necessary  also  to  mention  the 
manner  they  were  organized  for  this  event.  I  shall  en- 
deavour to  explain  here  as  briefly  as  possible.  In  the 
first  place,  chiefs  who  could  mix  with  the  people  without 
causing  suspicion  were  generally  chosen  in  preference  to 
men  holding  a  higher  station,  though  the  latter  were 
equally  devoted  and  ready  to  risk  their  lives  and  fortunes. 
A  man  of  the  name  of  James  Hope,  who  had  been 
advantageously  known  to  Sam  Neilson,  and  many  other 
Northern  patriots  of  1798,  by  trade  a  linen  weaver,  took 
a  ground  floor  on  the  Coombe ;  his  loom  and  the  web 
which  was  mounted  on  it  could  be  seen  from  the  street. 
This  man  was  without  exception  the  best  person  that 
could  be  entrusted  with  the  organization  of  his  own 
class  in  the  Liberty  of  Dublin,  from  which  class  the 
fighting  men  were  expected  to  come.  Hope  was  sober, 
prudent  and  unassuming ;  he  spoke  and  reasoned  justly. 
He  soon  made  acquaintance  with  the  persons  of  his  own 
trade  who  had  acquired  reputation  as  good,  honest 
patriots,  and  to  them  he  communicated  the  general  plan. 
He  promised  them  nothing  which  he  could  not  prove  to 
them  would  be  realized  when  the  time  for  action  arrived. 
Those  brave  fellows  set  to  work  to  assist  him,  and  in 
less  than  two  months  after,  James  Hope  reported  that 
five  thousand  were  organized  and  ready.  Another  man 
whose  brilliant  conduct  during  the  insurrection  I  have 
already  mentioned  in  the  beginning  of  these  memoirs, 
was  Matthew  Doyle,  who  lived  near  Arklow.  After  the 
battle  of  Vinegar  Hill  he  had  the  misfortune  to  be  taken 
prisoner  by  the  English.  He  had  no  alternative  between 
enlisting  as  a  mercenary  soldier  or  being  shot.  He  was 
in  the  prime  of  life  and  was  very  intelligent.  His 
regiment  made  part  of  Sir  Ralph  Abercrombie's  army 
in  Egypt.  Though  quitting  his  wife,  and  all  that  was 
dear  to  him,  Doyle  did  not  despond,  nor  relinquish  the 


hope  of  being  one  day  able  to  serve  again  his  own 
country.  He  therefore  began  to  study  military  tactics 
in  the  most  assiduous  manner,  and  he  soon  succeeded  in 
acquiring  great  knowledge  of  the  subject.  This,  with 
his  gentlemanlike  conduct  could  not  fail  to  attract  the 
notice  of  the  officers  of  his  regiment.  They  had  him 
named  sergeant ;  it  was  all  they  could  obtain  for  an 
Irish  rebel  chief,  though  he  had  displayed  both  skill  and 
bravery  fighting  against  the  French  in  Egypt. 

The  regiment  Doyle  belonged  to  being  disbanded  at 
the  peace  of  Amiens,  he  was  discharged ;  but  as  he 
could  not  venture  to  return  to  his  home,  amongst  the 
vindictive  Orangemen  of  Arklow,  he  stopped  in  Dublin, 
in  hopes  of  finding  some  honourable  occupation.  I 
mentioned  Doyle's  situation  to  Mr.  Emmet  and  all  the 
particulars  about  the  active  way  he  had  been  employed 
by  some  of  the  principal  heads  of  the  United  Irishmen 
in  organizing  that  system  in  the  years  1797  and  1798. 
"  Oh !  he  is  just  the  man  we  want,"  he  replied ;  "  let  me 
be  introduced  to  him  immediately."  Doyle  soon  became 
what  he  had  been  formerly,  a  safe  agent  and  an  inde- 
fatigable organizer,  preparing  his  countrymen  residing 
in  Dublin  and  its  vicinity,  as  well  as  the  citizens,  to  hold 
themselves  in  readiness  to  take  arms  when  called  on. 
His  military  experience  added  weight  to  the  influence 
he  had  amongst  the  men  of  '98,  who  recollected  him  as 
an  intrepid  leader.  Mr.  Emmet  considered  Doyle  a 
great  acquisition,  and  he  received  him  most  kindly  and 
frankly,  taking  pains  to  initiate  him  into  the  prepara- 
tions then  going  on,  and  telling  him  all  his  hopes  and 
plans ;  all  in  such  powerful  and  eloquent  language,  that 
poor  Doyle  felt  highly  honoured  and  flattered;  but  he 
could  not  conceive  how  so  young  a  man  could  possess 
such  uncommon  intellect. 

He   was   not   the   only    one    who    admired    Robert 
Emmet's  extraordinary  persuasive  talent.     I  shall  relate 


another  instance  of  it.  A  Mr.  Butler,  a  county  of 
Wexford  gentleman  residing  in  Dublin,  invited  me  one 
Sunday  to  a  dinner  party  he  was  giving  at  George 
Nowlan's  Hotel,  at  Maynooth,  in  honour  of  the  brave 
Thomas  Cloney,  who  had  just  returned  from  England, 
where  he  had  been  exiled  after  his  trial  and  imprison- 
ment in  1798.  Mr.  Cloney  and  I  took  a  walk  after 
dinner.  Of  course  our  first  conversation  turned  on  the 
failure  of  the  insurrection  and  its  disastrous  conse- 
quences in  the  county  of  Wexford,  his  own  long 
sufferings,  etc.  After  which  he  asked  me  if  I  had 
heard  that  young  Emmet,  the  brother  of  Thomas 
Addis  Emmet  was  then  organizing  the  country,  to 
be  ready  to  rise  when  a  French  army  should  land.  I 
replied  that  I  had;  he  then  asked  me  if  I  knew 
anyone  who  was  acquainted  with  young  Emmet.  I 
told  him  I  did.  He  then  expressed  a  desire  to  be  intro- 
duced to  Mr.  Emmet,  in  order  to  dissuade  him  from  his 
rash  scheme.  I  promised  to  let  him  know  next  day, 
when  he  could  have  the  interview  he  desired.  Being 
joined  by  the  rest  of  the  company,  we  all  returned  to 
Dublin  by  the  canal  boat. 

Mr.  Cloney,  not  wishing  to  be  committed  to  people  he 
did  not  know,  called  on  me  early  in  the  morning  to 
ascertain  the  name  of  the  person  through  whose  means 
an  interview  with  Robert  Emmet  was  to  be  procured 
to  him.  I  told  him,  that  on  that  head  he  need  have  no 
apprehension,  for  I  was  that  person;  that  I  had  seen 
Mr.  Emmet  the  night  before,  after  I  had  come  to  town ; 
and  that  he  seemed  delighted  at  the  prospect  of  be- 
coming acquainted  with  so  true  a  patriot  as  Mr.  Cloney. 
He  fixed  with  me  to  have  a  rendezvous  at  Harold's 
Cross  Green,  about  dusk.  Mr.  Cloney  returned  in  the 
evening,  and  we  walked  out  to  the  Green  at  Harold's 
Cross.  I  soon  perceived  at  some  distance  Robert 
Emmet,  walking  along  and  musing,  and  tapping  the 


ground  with  his  little  cane  in  his  accustomed  way. 
After  I  introduced  them,  I  retired  to  a  distance  and 
walked  up  and  down,  as  they  did,  for  three-quarters  of 
an  hour. 

I  can  never  forget  the  impression  this  meeting  made 
on  me  at  the  time — to  see  two  heroic  patriots,  equally 
devoted  to  poor  Ireland,  discussing  the  best  means  of 
obtaining  her  freedom.  The  contrast  in  the  appear- 
ance of  the  two  was  very  great.  Emmet,  slight  and 
under  the  middle  size;  Cloney,  almost  gigantic,  being 
six  feet  three  or  four  inches  high  and  well  proportioned. 
When  their  long  conversation  was  ended,  they  came 
and  joined  me.  On  taking  leave  of  us,  Mr.  Emmet 
said  in  a  familiar  manner  to  me,  "Miles,  I  shall  call  on 
you  in  the  morning."  He  then  left  us  and  went  to  his 
lodgings,  and  we  returned  to  town.  On  the  way,  Mr. 
Cloney  asked  me  why  I  did  not  tell  him  the  day  before 
at  Maynooth,  that  I  was  personally  acquainted  with 
Mr.  Emmet,  and  on  such  intimate  terms  with  him.  I 
answered:  "I  could  not  tell  you  more  than  I  did,  until 
I  had  his  permission  to  do  so."  "It  is  very  true,"  he 
replied,  "you  would  have  been  wrong  to  have  acted 
otherwise."  He  then  exclaimed,  "  I  have  heard  a  great 
deal  about  that  young  man's  talents,  but  certainly  he 
far  surpasses  anything  one  can  imagine.  His  powers  of 
reasoning  and  persuasion  are  such  that  an  objection  can 
scarcely  be  made  to  any  of  his  plans ;  which,  indeed,  if 
judiciously  carried  on,  and  put  into  execution  by  deter- 
mined, honest  and  devoted  patriots,  must  succeed,  as 
soon  as  a  French  army  is  landed  in  any  part  of  the 
country.  As  soon  as  the  English  garrison  is  ordered 
off  to  meet  the  French,  Dublin  will  be  easily  taken,  if 
the  citizens  show  bravery,  and  do  their  duty,  as  it  may 
be  expected  they  will,  from  the  organization  which  Mr. 
Emmet  tells  me  is  in  progress  through  the  city.  As  to 
the  counties,  though  it  is  pretty  certain  they  will  rise, 


when  it  is  known  that  the  metropolis  is  in  the  hands  of 
the  people,  still  he  told  me,  a  judicious  organization  is 
going  on  in  nineteen  counties  of  Ireland,  and  which  I 
was  very  glad  to  learn."  Arriving  in  town,  Mr.  Cloney 
and  I  separated,  well  pleased  with  the  way  we  had 
spent  the  evening,  and  agreeing  to  meet  often  on  the 
same  important  business. 

Mr.  Emmet's  plan  for  the  organization  of  the  counties 
was  simple,  and  easily  executed.  It  consisted  in  pro- 
curing the  names  and  places  of  abode  of  those  brave 
fellows  in  each  district  who  had  acquired  the  reputation 
of  being  good  patriots  in  1798,  and  who  still  enjoyed 
the  confidence  of  the  people.  As  numbers  of  this  class 
came  frequently  to  Dublin  on  business,  where  I  met 
those  to  whom  I  was  personally  known,  and  through 
them  got  introduced  to  many  others,  in  a  short  time  I 
was  enabled  to  make  out  a  list  of  them  for  three 
counties,  viz  :  Carlo w,  Wicklow,  and  Wexford.  Mr. 
Emmet  saw  these  men  individually,  fixed  with  them 
the  manner  they  were  to  hear  from  him  without  any 
risk.  He  defrayed  the  expenses  of  those  who  could 
not  afford  to  stop  in  town ;  he  told  them  of  all  things 
to  advise  the  people  not  to  pretend  to  be  occupied 
about  the  war,  and  never  on  any  account  to  allow  them 
to  plunder  fire-arms  from  the  enemy,  which  would  only 
serve  to  have  martial  law  proclaimed  in  the  country. 

Previous  to  the  departure  of  these  countrymen,  Mr. 
Emmet  gave  to  each  of  them  three  small  ivory  counters. 
On  one  side  of  one  were  three  peculiar  marks  engraved, 
or  rather  branded,  for  it  was  with  red  hot  iron  they 
had  been  marked.  Another  of  the  counters  had  two 
marks,  and  the  third  had  but  one.  They  were  recom- 
mended never  to  show  these  counters,  except  to  per- 
sons who  could  produce  similar  ones.  A  messenger 
would  be  sent  from  the  provisional  government  to 
report  on  the  situation  of  the  counties,  and  would  get 


the  counter  with  one  mark,  and  when  he  showed  it  to 
the  men  who  he  was  told  held  the  counterpart,  they 
showed  him  theirs,  and  would  then  give  him  all  the 
information  in  their  power  about  men  and  things.  The 
messenger  or  bearer  of  the  counter  with  the  two  marks 
was  to  have  more  extensive  instructions  than  the 
others ;  he,  in  conjunction  with  the  patriots  of  the  dis- 
tricts were  to  devise  the  safest  and  best  means  of 
procuring  arms,  and  he  was  to  be  entrusted  with  the 
monev  necessary  to  defray  all  the  expenses.  The 
person  who  presented  the  ivory  counter  bearing  the 
three  brands,  would  come  directly  from  the  provisional 
government,  with  final  instructions  and  orders  to  begin 
the  fight,  and  for  the  general  rising  en  masse  of  the 
districts  organized  for  that  purpose.  Thus  it  may  be 
seen  that  Mr.  Emmet's  plans  were  going  on  quietly  and 
progressively  in  many  of  the  counties,  as  well  as  in  the 
city  of  Dublin.  The  brave  and  gallant  Thomas  Russell 
found  the  preparations  in  this  forward  state  when  he 
arrived  from  France,  accompanied  by  his  niece's  hus- 
band Mr.  Hamilton.  Some  persons  thought  it  was  very 
injudicious  to  bring  over  these  gentlemen  so  soon. 
First,  on  account  of  the  large  sum  of  money  that  had  to 
be  sent  to  Paris  to  defray  their  expenses  there,  and  the 
exorbitant  price  which  had  to  be  paid  for  a  vessel  to 
bring  them,  and  this  at  a  time  when  money  was  so 
much  required  to  purchase  fire-arms ;  in  the  next  place, 
from  the  great  difficulty  and  danger  which  would  occur 
in  preparing  them  a  safe  dwelling  to  reside  in,  both 
being  proscribed  men.  But  Russell's  name  and  great 
reputation  in  the  North  of  Ireland  out-weighed  all  other 
considerations.  Therefore  Robert  Emmet  had  to  take 
a  house  in  Butterfield  Lane,  to  change  completely  his 
simple  mode  of  living,  and  to  go  and  reside  in  that 
house  with  Russell,  Hamilton  and  Dowdall.  The  latter 
got  his  liberty  at  the  peace  of  Amiens,  when  his  fellow- 


prisoners  at  Fort  George  in  Scotland,  had  to  expatriate 
themselves  for  ever.  This  new  establishment  became 
very  expensive,  though  the  inmates  slept  on  mattresses 
laid  on  the  floors,  and  though  they  lived  very  plainly. 
The  trusty  attendants  of  the  family  of  Michael  Dwyer, 
the  brave  Wicklow  mountain  chief,  added  not  a  little 
to  the  expense.  Still  they  were  honest  and  frugal  and 
their  service  was  considered  a  safeguard  and  an  acquisi- 
tion, on  account  of  their  connection  with  the  famous 
Dwyer.  Mr.  John  Palmer,  who  had  all  the  provisions 
bought  in  Dublin,  and  sent  to  the  country,  often  com- 
plained of  the  enormous  waste  and  extravagance  going 
on  at  "  The  Palace,"  as  he  called  the  house  in  Butter- 
field  Lane.  But  the  inconvenience  and  danger  of 
having  such  numbers  of  persons  frequently  assembled 
there,  was  still  worse.  One  day  I  am  sure  we  were 
thirty  at  dinner.  The  fact  was,  we  were  all  anxious  to 
meet  Mr.  Russell,  and  to  hear  from  him,  who  had  left 
Paris  so  recently,  what  was  to  be  expected  from  the 
French  Government.  His  explanation  on  this  point  did 
not  afford  much  satisfaction.  Russell  however  ex- 
pressed his  own  decided  opinion  that  the  Irish  people 
should  begin  at  once  and  free  themselves.  He  added 
that  he  was  sure  the  North  would  rise  to  a  man ;  and 
he  dwelt  so  long  on  this  subject,  and  appeared  so  enthu- 
siastic and  serious  in  his  belief  about  what  he  advanced 
respecting  the  rising  of  the  North  of  Ireland,  that 
several  of  those  present,  particularly  Cloney,  Phil  Long, 
Gray,  Allan,  Hughes,  etc.,  consulted  Mr.  Emmet  about 
the  necessity  of  ascertaining  how  far  the  citizens  of  the 
northern  districts  could  be  relied  on  in  the  present  situa- 
tion of  the  country ;  as  it  had  often  been  said  of  them 
that  their  politics  had  greatly  changed  since  1798.  After 
some  discussion  they  decided  that  a  county  of  Wexford 
man  of  intelligence  should  be  got  to  accompany  James 
Hope  in  a  tour  through  the  North  of  Ireland,  and  they 


also  decided  that  the  man  should  be  chosen  by  me.  I 
knew  many  amongst  the  brave  fellows  who  fought 
beside  me  in  the  insurrection,  in  whom  I  could  place 
every  confidence,  but  a  mission  of  this  nature  required 
an  observing  man  of  discretion  and  sound  judgment 
who  would  be  able  to  report  on  all  he  saw  and  learned 
in  his  tour  when  he  returned.  Michael  Berney,  who 
resided  in  Dublin  after  his  escape  from  the  county  of 
Wexford,  consented  to  accompany  Hope.  I  presented 
him  to  Mr.  Emmet  and  Russell.  They  seemed  quite 
pleased  with  him,  and  gave  him  the  necessary  instruc- 
tions how  he  was  to  act  at  the  night  meetings,  where  he 
would  have  to  attend  during  his  mission  to  the  North. 
Mr.  Berney  had  a  large  connection  and  many  relatives 
in  Dublin ;  he  was  first  cousin  to  the  unfortunate  Denis 
Redmond,  of  whom  I  shall  have  to  speak  hereafter. 
Hope  and  Berney  spent  fifteen  days  going  through  the 
different  districts  of  the  North;  and  their  report  on 
returning  to  Dublin,  was  certainly  more  favourable  than 
was  expected.  At  every  meeting  the  greatest  venera- 
tion and  admiration  was  expressed  for  the  honourable 
part  that  Thomas  Russell  had  acted  in  the  years  '97 
and  '98,  and  those  present  seemed  proud  to  have  him 
once  more  at  their  head  to  lead  them  to  victory ;  and 
when  they  were  told  by  Berney  and  Hope  that  Dublin 
should  be  takenz  which  would  be  the  signal  for  all 
Ireland  to  rise,  "Oh!  then,"  they  cried,  "we  pledge 
ourselves  not  to  be  the  last."  Indeed  this  was  the 
general  feeling  and  opinion  manifested  in  the  other 
provinces,  as  well  as  in  the  North.  Let  the  capital  once 
be  in  possession  of  the  citizens,  then  the  counties  would 
soon  rise,  and  disarm  the  few  English  soldiers  dispersed 
through  the  country.  It  was  in  consequence  of  the 
certainty  of  this  general  belief  respecting  the  metropolis, 
that  Robert  Emmet  employed  all  the  resources  in  his 
power  for  the  preparations  and  organization  of  the  city 


of  Dublin.  Unfortunately,  one  of  the  most  active 
agents,  Matthew  Doyle,  fell  sick  at  this  time,  the  begin- 
ning of  July;  he  was  seized  with  rheumatic  gout  and 
lost  the  use  of  his  limbs.  I  often  called  on  him,  and  it 
made  me  melancholy  to  see  so  fine  a  fellow  rendered 
useless.  He  however  kept  up  his  spirits,  and  he  bid 
me  tell  Mr.  Emmet  that  he  hoped  to  be  recovered  ere 
we  should  be  obliged  to  take  the  field. 

A  determined  man,  whose  eagerness  to  forward  and 
serve  the  sacred  cause  of  freedom  and  the  independence 
of  his  country,  and  whose  daring,  resolute  designs  for 
this  purpose  could  not  be  surpassed,  was  Mr.  Brangan 
of  Irishtown :  he  possessed  all  these  qualities.  He  had 
a  wife  and  several  children  whom  he  tenderly  loved, 
yet  no  consideration  could  prevent  him  from  sharing 
the  dangers  of  our  struggle.  He  requested  me  to  intro- 
duce to  him  some  of  the  counties  of  Wexford  and 
Wicklow  men  who  resided  in  his  neighbourhood ;  he 
wished  particularly  to  know  those  who  were  employed 
at  Mr.  Haig's  distillery.  In  a  short  time  he  had  those 
intrepid  refugees  organized  and  ready  for  action.  In 
consequence,  he  made  a  proposal  to  Mr.  Emmet  to  sur- 
prise and  take  the  Pigeon  House,  when  the  signal  from 
the  city  should  be  given.  Mr.  Emmet  cheerfully 
accepted  Mr.  Brangan's  bold  offer,  and  promised  him  to 
have  small  depots  of  arms  placed  at  his  disposition  as 
soon  as  possible. 

Mr.  Brangan's  conduct  and  services  as  an  officer  of  the 
Irish  legion  could  often  be  cited  to  prove  that  he  was 
ever  ready  to  undertake  the  most  perilous  missions ;  I 
could  mention  many  instances  myself  where  he  was 
unhappy  because  it  was  the  turn  of  the  other  officers 
and  not  his,  to  be  ordered  to  attack  a  strong  position  or 
mount  a  breach.  Though  all  this  could  only  be  known 
subsequently  to  Brangan's  volunteering  to  take  the 
Pigeon  House,  it  suffices  to  show  that  at  that  period  he 


had  the  love  of  distinction  as  well  as  the  love  of  country 
at  heart.  When  Robert  Emmet  appointed  him  to  the 
command,  he  immediately  bought  general's  epaulets, 
fully  determined  to  prove  that  he  was  worthy  of  wearing 
them.  Such  men  are  precious  and  wanted  at  the  com- 
mencement of  every  dangerous  enterprise. 

Third  of  July. — Our  preparations  progressing  rapidly 
in  every  part  of  the  city;  with  the  greatest  caution, 
however,  and  circumspection  ;  no  one  meddling  with  the 
concerns  of  others,  solely  occupied  with  his  own  part 
The  Kildare  men  working  day  and  night  at  the  depot 
in  the  lane  off  Thomas  Street,  mounting  pikes,  and  pre- 
paring other  war  implements ;  houses  getting  ready  to 
serve  as  small  depots  to  receive  them. 

An  incident  which  took  place  about  this  time,  the 
beginning  of  July,  will  show  how  much  the  honest  James 
Hope  was  thought  of  both  by  the  leaders  and  others. 
One  day  several  county  of  Wexford  men  came  to  tell 
me,  with  sorrow,  that  they  had  met  James  Hope,  who 
told  them  that  he  was  going  to  the  North  with  Mr. 
Russell.  I  saw  Mr.  Emmet  next  day  at  Butterfield 
Lane  when  I  mentioned  to  him  in  Mr.  Russell's  presence 
how  sorry  the  Wexford  men  were  to  learn  that  Hope 
would  not  remain  to  act  with  them  in  Dublin.  I  had 
scarcely  uttered  the  last  word  when  Mr.  Russell  said, 
"  You  may  keep  him ;  you  certainly  take  off  my  right 
arm,  but  I  shall  march  myself  with  an  imposing  force 
from  the  North  on  Dublin."  Mr.  Emmet  smiled,  and 
we  began  to  speak  of  other  matters  :  of  those  concerning 
the  tubes  and  rockets  getting  ready  at  the  depot  at 
Patrick  Street ;  he  said  he  wished  to  try  one  of  them, 
and  he  appointed  me  to  come  out  next  evening  that  we 
might  go  into  the  country  a  little  distance,  that  this 
experiment  might  not  attract  any  notice. 

Johnstone,  who  was  making  the  rockets,  brought  one 
of  them  ready  prepared,  so  we  all  went  into  the  fields ; 


that  is,  Mr.  Emmet,  Russell,  Dowdell,  Hamilton,  etc. 
The  rocket  was  made  fast  to  a  pole  with  wire,  and 
rested  on  a  trestle  ;  the  match  being  put  to  it,  it  went  off 
like  a  thunderbolt,  carrying  the  pole  along  with  it,  and 
throwing  flames  and  fire  behind,  as  it  advanced,  and 
when  it  fell,  it  went  on  tearing  up  the  ground  till  the 
last  of  the  matter  with  which  it  was  filled  was  com- 
pletely consumed  Mr.  Emmet  and  Johnstone  were 
quite  satisfied  with  the  effect  it  produced,  and  they 
decided  that  all  the  rockets  or  tubes  should  be  prepared 
and  filled  in  the  same  manner ;  the  card  which  was 
placed  along  the  pole  to  serve  as  a  train  or  match  did 
not  communicate  the  fire  quick  enough,  but  that  was. 
easily  remedied  at  the  depot  by  preparing  others  with 
stronger  liquid,  etc. 

Though  Mr.  Cloney  and  others,  whose  experience  in 
the  insurrection  of  1798  had  taught  them  to  appreciate 
the  best  and  cheapest  way  of  arming  the  people,  in  the 
event  of  a  general  rising,  could  not  entirely  approve 
Robert  Emmet's  learned  and  scientific  experiments, 
solely  on  account  of  the  expense  incurred  at  a  moment 
when  money  was  so  much  wanted  to  buy  fire-arms  and 
ammunition,  yet  they  little  thought  how  the  preparations 
of  these  tubes  and  rockets  would  cause  the  accident  and 
explosion  in  the  depot  at  Patrick  Street,  which  brought 
on  the  prematue  and  untimely  rising,  and  thus  frustrated 
all  Mr.  Emmet's  vast  and  well  combined  plans.  Alas? 
fate  decided  against  him. 

From  the  time  the  depot  was  established  in  Patrick 
Street,  I  made  it  a  point  whenever  I  went  out  on  busi- 
ness, to  return  that  way,  to  see  that  all  was  right  there. 
On  Saturday,  the  i6th  of  July,  I  had  been  at  a  funeral 
in  Bishop  Street,  and  in  coming  back  by  the  depot,  I 
saw  a  number  of  people  assembled  before  the  house. 
The  first  person  I  addressed  told  me  that  an  explosion 
of  some  kind  of  combustible  ingredients  had  taken- 


place  inside,  and  three  men  were  desperately  wounded 
and  carried  off  to  the  hospital.  Poor  Macintosh  coming 
out  of  the  house  confirmed  all  I  had  heard.  His  brother- 
in-law,  young  Keenan,  Darby  Byrne,  and  Johnstone 
were  taken  to  the  hospital  before  he  arrived.  The  men 
who  escaped  and  remained  in  the  depot  told  us  that 
what  they  thought  caused  the  explosion  was,  Johnstone 
had  been  trying  a  fusee  or  match,  in  an  inner  room,  and 
came  out  into  the  one  where  the  composition  matter  for 
filling  the  rocket  tubes  was  placed  in  a  corner,  and  that 
a  spark  of  fire  must  have  been  brought  on  his  shoe, 
which  communicated  with  the  pile  in  the  corner.  That 
the  explosion  took  place  the  instant  he  entered  the 
room ;  the  windows  were  broken,  the  poor  men  thrown 
through  them  into  the  street,  etc. ;  this  was  all  they  were 
able  to  tell  us. 

Our  situation  can  be  more  easily  imagined  than 
described.  It  was  dreadful  to  think  of  three  of  our  men 
being  in  the  hospital,  at  the  disposition  of  the  Govern- 
ment, whose  agents,  by  torture  and  other  means,  could 
extort  from  them  all  our  plans  and  secrets.  Macintosh 
had  the  window  and  the  other  things  deranged  by  the 
explosion,  put  in  the  best  order  possible,  to  prevent 
suspicion.  Both  he  and  I  wondered  that  the  police  had 
not  taken  possession  of  the  depot,  and  we  feared  that 
they  were  only  waiting  for  the  purpose  of  seeing  the 
persons  who  would  frequent  the  house,  in  order  to  have 
them  arrested. 

Mr.  Emmet  on  being  apprised  of  this  unfortunate 
explosion  naturally  enough  conjectured  that  all  his  plans 
and  preparations  would  soon  become  known  to  the 
Government.  He  resolved,  in  consequence,  to  hold  a 
council  of  the  principal  leaders  then  in  Dublin,  at  which 
council  it  was  decided,  if  not  forced  to  act  sooner,  that 
Saturday  evening  following,  the  23rd  July,  should  be 
finally  fixed  for  the  general  attack  on  the  city  and  Castle ; 


and  that  every  means  should  be  taken  to  apprise  the 
counties  to  follow  the  example  of  Dublin. 

Mr.  Russell  and  Hamilton  set  off  for  the  North,  and 
unluckily  James  Hope  accompanied  them.  His  pre- 
sence at  this  critical  moment  in  Dublin  would  have  been 
invaluable;  he  was  so  devoted  to  the  cause,  so  active, 
and  so  well  known  to  all  those  employed  in  the  different 
depots.  He  would  have  been  useful  beyond  measure, 
carrying  the  despatches  and  giving  the  verbal  orders  of 
the  chiefs;  besides,  there  was  no  one  appointed  to 
replace  him  with  the  Liberty  people,  whom  he  had 
organized  for  action.  However,  the  other  leaders  who 
remained  in  town  had  still  seven  days  more  before  them 
to  prepare  for  this  immediate  struggle  to  shake  off  for 
ever  the  yoke  of  England. 

Mr.  Emmet  confiding  in  me  to  procure  a  house  to 
replace  the  depot  in  Patrick  Street,  from  which  the  arms 
and  ammunition  should  be  instantly  removed,  if  the 
Government  did  not  take  possession  of  it,  I  consulted 
Michael  Berney,  who  told  me  he  was  sure  his  cousin 
Denis  Redmond  would  lend  a  house  he  was  getting 
repaired,  and  where  he  intended  to  reside  when  he  got 
married  ;  it  was  on  the  Coal  Quay,  and  not  far  from  the 
Castle.  The  situation  was  the  one  Mr.  Emmet  desired 
so  much  on  account  of  its  proximity  to  the  seat  of  the 
Government.  Young  Redmond  at  once  consented^  and 
gave  the  keys  of  his  house  to  his  cousin,  and  seemed 
highly  flattered  at  the  confidence  put  in  him,  and  bid 
us  tell  Mr.  Emmet  that  he  might  reckon  on  his  aid  in 
every  way  to  forward  the  cause  of  freedom.  It  was  the 
more  meritorious  on  the  part  of  this  brave  fine  young 
fellow,  who  only  heard  for  the  first  time  of  Mr.  Emmet's 
plans,  when  asked  to  lend  his  house ;  his  cousin  did  not 
like  he  should  be  initiated  sooner,  lest  he  should  neglect 
his  business,  and  particularly  his  marriage. 

Mr.  Emmet  was  quite  conscious  of  the  perilous  situa- 


tion  of  those  who  would  be  employed  in  removing  the 
arms  and  ammunition  from  the  depot  to  the  Coal  Quay ; 
in  short,  he  considered  it  a  forlorn  hope ;  he  feared  that 
ere  then  all  was  discovered  to  the  agents  of  the  Govern- 
ment. I  promised  him,  that  notwithstanding  all  the 
risk,  I  would  undertake  the  task,  and  we  then  agreed 
on  the  safest  way  of  carrying  it  into  effect.  I  engaged 
a  sufficient  number  of  men  in  whom  I  could  confide,  to 
meet  me  at  dusk,  dressed  in  their  great  coats,  under 
which  they  could  easily  carry  concealed,  blunderbusses, 
jointed  pikes,  ammunition,  etc  ;  we  walked  two  and  two, 
and  at  a  certain  distance  from  one  another,  so  as  to 
attract  no  notice,  and  after  making  many  journeys  in 
this  way  during  the  night  without  meeting  any  serious 
obstacle,  at  the  point  of  day  we  had  every  article  fit  for 
use  removed  to  Redmond's  house  on  the  Coal  Quay,  and 
those  not  finished  put  into  the  secret  closets.  One 
barrel  or  cask  of  ball  cartridges  and  flints  however  still 
remained,  but  it  was  to  be  brought  to  Mr.  Palmer's  on 
the  Poddle,  who  was  to  have  it  sent  to  the  country  for 
Dwyer's  use  in  the  Wicklow  mountains.  I  desired  two 
men  to  carry  the  cask  between  them,  but  finding  it  not 
too  heavy,  one  of  them,  a  stout  young  man  of  the 
name  of  Murphy,  preferred  taking  it  on  his  shoulder. 
Just  as  he  knocked  at  Mr.  Palmer's  hall  doort  he  was 
surrounded  by  several  watchmen  who  seized  the  barrel 
and  carried  it  off  with  them.  I  only  stopped  an  instant 
behind  to  send  one  of  the  men  to  the  depot  at  Thomas 
Street  to  tell  them  there  how  we  had  succeeded,  and 
when  I  resumed  my  march,  I  met  poor  Murphy  coming 
back  to  tell  me  what  had  happened.  Fortunately  all 
the  men  were  not  gone  away  ;  six  or  eight  of  them  lodged 
close  by  and  were  still  with  me,  so  we  instantly  pursued 
the  watchmen  and  overtook  them  near  Coulan's  brewery, 
in  New  Row.  Here  a  regular  combat  ensued ;  two  of 
the  watchmen  were  carrying  the  cask,  and  the  others 


guarding  them.  I  told  our  men  by  no  means  to  use 
their  fire-arms,  so  the  poor  watchmen  were  knocked 
down  with  paving  stones  and  the  cask  retaken  and 
carried  off  this  time  by  two  men.  But  we  now  had  to 
show  the  other  watchmen,  who  attempted  to  follow  us, 
that  we  were  well  armed  and  determined  to  defend  our 
property,  calling  them  robbers,  and  telling  them  on 
their  peril  to  advance  a  step.  The  fact  was,  they  took 
us  for  smugglers.  Let  that  be  as  it  may,  it  was  for- 
tunate no  shot  was  fired,  as  the  Coombe  Guard  House 
was  hard  by,  and  the  sentry  was  walking  before  the 
door  in  the  broad  daylight.  Whilst  we  were  keeping 
back  the  watchmen,  Michael  Berney  had  the  barrel 
safely  deposited  with  a  dairy  man  whom  he  knew  in 
New  Street,  and  in  the  course  of  the  day  Arthur 
Develin,  Dwyer's  cousin,  took  it  to  the  country.  The 
messenger  whom  I  sent  to  report  our  success  in  getting 
the  stores  removed  to  the  Coal  Quay,  learned  on  his  way 
about  the  cask  of  ammunition  having  been  seized: 
so  Mr.  Emmet  heard  the  good  and  the  bad  report  at  the 
same  time.  He  instantly  sallied  out  from  the  depot  at 
Thomas  Street  (where  he  had  spent  the  night),  at  the 
head  of  several  men  well  armed,  to  come  to  my  assist- 
ance, and  he  had  advanced  as  far  as  Francis  Street 
when  he  was  told  that  we  had  retaken  the  ammunition 
cask,  and  that  all  was  right  again.  He  then  returned 
with  his  men  to  the  depot ;  fortunately  they  attracted 
no  notice,  it  was  so  early  in  the  day,  and  they  were 
enchanted  with  his  decision  and  courage  on  this 

Having  spent  the  whole  of  Saturday  night  in  the  most 
agitated  state  that  ever  human  being  could  experience,  I 
stood  in  the  greatest  need  of  repose  and  sleep,  but  I 
found  it  impossible  to  have  either.  It  being  Sunday, 
and  the  last  Sunday  that  would  intervene  before  the 
rising,  I  had  to  go  through  the  town  and  endeavour  to 



see  the  men  on  whom  I  counted,  at  their  respective 
lodgings,  to  tell  them  to  hold  themselves  in  readiness 
and  well  prepared;  that  the  die  was  cast,  the  day 
and  the  hour  fixed  for  the  general  attack  on  the  city. 
Had  all  the  leaders  who  promised  to  be  at  the  posts 
assigned  them,  been  exact  and  done  their  duty,  or  even 
had  they  come  to  the  depot  to  assist  Mr.  Emmet  in  the 
first  bustle,  their  presence  then  would  have  caused  more 
discipline,  and  in  spite  of  mistakes  and  accidents,  we 
should  have  taken  the  Castle  ;  and  once  in  possession  of 
it,  the  English  had  not  sufficient  forces  to  retake  it,  and 
make  head  against  the  thousand  armed  citizens  who 
would  meet  in  the  morning,  and  the  thousands  of 
armed  men  pouring  in  from  all  parts  of  the  country. 
Alas!  fate  decided  it  otherwise.  The  ever-to-be- 
tamented  Robert  Emmet  desired  that  his  epitaph 
should  remain  uninscribed  till  better  times.  His  will  in 
that  respect  should  be  adhered  to.  by  every  true  Irish 
patriot;  and,  were  I  not  finishing  my  notes,  which 
commence  with  the  memorable  epoch  of  1798  in  the 
county  of  Wexford  and  finish  in  Ireland  at  Dublin,  1803, 
I  might  omit  making  any  allusion  to  Mr.  Emmet ;  but 
as  I  glory  in  my  participation  with  him,  I  cannot  here 
avoid  giving  a  short,  simple,  accurate  sketch  of  Mr. 
Emmet's  extensive  plan  for  the  independence  of  Ireland, 
and  mentioning  at  the  same  time  the  part  I  took  to 
forward  all  his  views — in  short,  from  the  day  I  became 
acquainted  with  him  until  I  sailed  from  Dublin  and 
arrived  in  PariSj  to  terminate  my  mission  from  him  to 
his  brother,  Mr.  Thomas  Addis  Emmet 

On  Monday,  the  1 8th  of  July,  I  went  to  all  the  public 
houses  usually  frequented  by  the  working  classes  that 
day ;  there  I  met  many  of  those  I  wanted  to  see,  and 
fixed  with  them  the  rendezvous  for  Saturday  evening, 
the  23rd  of  July ;  going  through  the  city  in  every  direc- 
tion, I  often  met  my  acquaintances  who  were  employed 


on  the  same  business,  such  as  John  Allen,  Felix  Rourke, 
etc. ;  the  latter  dined  sometimes  at  my  brother's  in  New 
Street.  I  considered  him  a  very  discreet,  safe  man. 
He  seemed  to  have  great  influence  amongst  the  Kildare 
men.  Of  those  Kildare  men  I  only  was  in  the  habit  of 
seeing  on  business  Quigley,  Ned  Conden,  and  one  or  two 
others,  but  I  was  well  satisfied  with  regard  to  their 
experience  and  devotion  to  the  cause  we  were  engaged 
in.  Poor  Matthew  Doyle,  of  whom  I  have  already 
spoken,  was  still  sick,  and  his  absence  was  much  felt ; 
however,  all  those  whom  he  knew  in  Dublin  and  its 
environs,  promised  to  come  and  join  me  at  the  Coal 
Quay  or  in  Ship  Street,  and  they  kept  their  word  like 
undaunted  men. 

A  man  of  the  name  of  MacCabe  kept  a  public  house 
in  Francis  Street.  He  had  gained  a  certain  reputation 
for  patriotism  and  bravery  in  the  insurrection  of  1798. 
This  sufficed  to  make  his  house  be  much  frequented  by 
many  who  had  escaped  to  Dublin  at  that  period.  One 
day  in  the  beginning  of  July,  I  met  MacCabe ;  he  told 
me,  knowing  as  he  did  so  many  of  the  brave  county  of 
Wexford  men,  whenever  the  rising  took  place,  he  would 
like  to  act  with  us.  Of  course  I  replied  how  happy  we 
should  be  to  have  such  distinguished  patriots  as  him  in 
our  ranks.  When  the  day  was  fixed,  I  reminded 
MacCabe  of  our  previous  conversation,  to  which  he 
answered,  that  by  a  subsequent  arrangement,  he  was  to 
act  with  John  Allen  of  College  Green,  and  other  Dublin 
leaders  of  his  acquaintance ;  he  hoped,  however,  that 
we  should  often  meet,  once  our  sacred  enterprise  was 
crowned  with  success.  MacCabe  was  rather  well- 
looking  ;  he  had  a  frankness  of  manner,  an  earnestness 
about  our  cause,  which  prepossessed  one  in  his  favour, 
For  my  own  part  I  had  .every  confidence  in  him,  and  ;f 
he  had  not  had  the  misfortune  to  be  arrested  at  his  own 
door,  armed  with  a  blunderbuss,  endeavouring  to  get 


into  his  house,  at  the  dawn  of  day,  the  morning  after 
the  sad  failure  in  Thomas  Street,  the  Government 
never  would  have  had  his  services  as  a  vile  informer  at 
the  castle  of  Dublin. 

The  hollow  beams  I  have  already  described  were  now 
invaluable ;  as  in  them  the  long  mounted  pikes  were 
conveyed  every  day  through  the  city  to  different  houses, 
where  they  were  safely  deposited.  Ammunition  and 
fire-arms  were  brought  by  confidential  persons,  concealed 
under  their  great  coats,  late  in  the  evening ;  in  short, 
all  that  was  possible  to  be  done  in  so  short  a  time,  was 
eagerly  executed;  so  that  the  leaders  on  Saturday 
morning  were  satisfied  that  they  could  arm  the  men  who 
promised  to  meet  them  in  the  evening  with  pikes  and 

Now  the  final  plan  to  be  executed  consisted  princi- 
pally in  taking  the  Castle,  whilst  the  Pigeon  House, 
Island  Bridge,  the  Royal  Barracks,  and  the  old  Custom 
House  barracks  were  to  be  attacked ;  and  if  not  sur- 
prised and  taken,  they  were  to  be  blockaded,  and  en- 
trenchments thrown  up  before  them.  Obstacles  of  every 
kind  were  to  be  created  through  streets,  to  prevent  the 
English  cavalry  from  charging.  The  Castle  once  taken, 
undaunted  men,  materials,  implements  of  every  descrip- 
tion would  be  easily  found  in  all  the  streets  in  the  city, 
not  only  to  impede  the  cavalry,  but  to  prevent  infantry 
from  passing  through  them. 

As  I  was  to  be  one  of  those  persons  designed  to  co- 
operate with  Robert  Emmet  in  taking  the  Castle  of 
Dublin,  I  shall  here  relate  precisely  the  part  which  was 
allotted  to  me  in  this  daring  enterprise.  I  was  to  have 
assembled  early  in  the  evening  of  Saturday  the  23rd 
of  July,  1803,  at  the  house  of  Denis  Lambert  Redmond 
on  the  Coal  Quay,  the  Wexford  and  Wicklow  men,  to 
whom  I  was  to  distribute  pikes,  arms  and  ammunition ; 
and  then  a  little  before  dusk  I  was  to  send  one  of  the 


men  well  known  to  Mr.  Emmet,  to  tell  him  that  we  were 
at  our  post,  armed  and  ready  to  follow  him ;  that  men 
were  placed  in  the  house  in  Ship  Street  ready  to  seize 
on  the  entrance  to  the  Castle  on  that  side,  at  the  same 
moment  the  principal  gate  would  be  taken. 

Mr.  Emmet  was  to  leave  the  depot  at  Thomas  Street 
at  dusk,  with  six  hackney  coaches,  in  each  of  which 
six  men  were  to  be  placed,  armed  with  jointed  pikes 
and  blunderbusses  concealed  under  their  coats.  The 
moment  the  last  of  these  coaches  had  passed  Redmond's 
house,  where  we  were  to  be  assembled,  we  were  to 
sally  forth  and  follow  them  quickly  into  the  Castle 
court  yard,  and  there  to  seize  and  disarm  all  the  sentries 
and  to  replace  them  instantly  with  our  own  men,  etc. 

Now,  having  had  a  perfect  understanding  with  Robert 
Emmet  on  the  different  points  entrusted  to  my  care,  I 
waited  with  patience  and  fortitude  the  moment  agreed 
on  between  us  for  the  attack  on  the  Castle,  and  so  early 
as  seven  o'clock,  the  brave  men  who  promised  me  began 
to  arrive  at  Redmond's  house,  Coal  Quay,  and  before 
eight  o'clock  they  numbered  more  than  I  counted  on, 
because  William  Darcy  and  many  Dublin  citizens  came 
to  join  us  here ;  and  I  must  say  that  this  brave  young 
man  was  of  infinite  service  and  comfort  to  me  on  this 
momentous  occasion. 

It  was  now  the  time  to  send  the  confidential  person  to 
the  depot  at  Thomas  Street ;  I  chose  Pat  Ford,  a  county 
of  Wexford  man,  who  had  distinguished  himself  very 
much  in  the  insurrection  of  '98,  and  he  being  acquainted 
with  Mr.  Emmet  and  knowing  many  of  the  men  em- 
ployed at  the  depot,  I  could  not  have  made  a  better 
choice.  Ford  had  for  instructions,  the  moment  he  saw 
Mr.  Emmet  and  his  men  in  the  hackney  coaches,  to 
precede  them  as  quickly  as  he  could,  to  let  us  know 
that  they  were  coming,  and  as  they  were  to  drive  in 
their  slow  ordinary  way,  so  as  not  to  attract  notice,  he 


would  thus  have  easily  had  time  to  rejoin  us  at  the 
Coal  Quay ;  and  the  distance  from  thence  to  the  Castle 
being  so  short,  we  hoped  we  should  be  in  possession  of 
the  seat  of  government  in  a  very  few  minutes  after- 
wards. Pat  Ford  must  have  told  Mr.  Emmet  how  we 
were  ready,  anxiously  waiting  his  arrival. 

Great  silence  and  quietness  prevailed  on  the  quays 
on  both  sides  of  the  river,  and  not  the  least  movement 
of  troops  was  to  be  perceived  at  either  the  old  Custom 
House  barracks  or  the  Castle.  I  had  three  of  our  men 
continually  passing  before  those  places  and  returning 
to  tell  us  what  they  saw,  and  one  of  them  passed 
through  the  Castle  Yard  from  Ship  Street  at  a  quarter 
before  nine  o'clock. 

Our  situation  became  every  moment  more  distressing 
and  perilous.  The  time  passed  that  Mr.  Emmet  was  to 
have  joined  us.  We  naturally  conjectured  that  some- 
thing extraordinary  had  occurred  which  prevented  him 
apprising  us  of  the  cause  of  the  delay,  and  as  to  Pat 
Ford,  we  feared  he  was  arrested,  for  otherwise  he 
would  have  come  back  to  us.  Under  these  afflicting 
surmises  I  hastened  to  send  another  trustworthy  person 
who  knew  also  about  the  depot  in  the  lane  off  Thomas 
Street ;  Mr.  Terence  Kavanagh,  of  Anagh,  county  of 
Wexford,  was  my  messenger  this  time.  He  soon 
returned  with  the  sad  intelligence  of  the  disasters.  He 
went  first  to  the  depot,  and  there,  outside  the  door,  saw 
pikes  strewed  about  the  street,  and  from  thence  he  went 
to  the  market  house  at  Thomas  Street,  where  he  saw 
other  proofs  of  the  failure,  and  of  the  unfortunate 
events  which  took  place  there.  By  the  time  Kavanagh 
got  back  to  us  we  could  hear  the  patrol  on  the  Quay 
at  the  other  side,  which  an  instant  before  was  so  silent, 
And  now  the  gates  of  the  Castle  were  closed  and  artil- 
lery was  brought  to  defend  them.  We  decided  on 
quitting  the  housel  which  poor  Redmond  locked  up. 


We  then  marched  through  Nicholas  Street,  Patrick 
Street,  New  Street,  etc.,  meeting  nothing  to  impede  our 
march  except  the  watchmen  who  were  easily  put  aside. 
We  were  in  hopes  every  moment  to  meet  Mr.  Emmet 
and  the  Kildare  men  who  left  the  depot  with  him ;  but 
getting  no  intelligence  whatever  about  the  place  he  had 
retired  to,  after  marching  and  countermarching  nearly 
the  whole  night  about  the  streets  of  the  Liberty,  we 
agreed  to  separate,  each  to  go  to  his  home,  or  to  some 
friend's  house,  so  as  not  to  be  seen  in  the  streets  when 
the  day  appeared.  Fearing  it  might  compromise  my 
step-brother  Edward  Kennedy,  I  did  not  go  to  his  house 

in  New  Street     I  recollected  a  worthy  man,  Mr.  M 

who  kept  limekilns  in  the  Liberty,  and  who  furnished 
lime  to  my  brother.  He  opened  his  door  when  I 
knocked  and  told  him  how  I  did  not  wish  to  be  seen  in 
the  street  at  so  early  an  hour  in  the  morning.  Michael 
Berney,  my  steady  companion,  was  with  me,  and  we 
were  shown  up  to  a  garret  loft,  from  which  we  could  get 
out  on  the  roofs  of  the  neighbouring  houses,  and  thereby 
have  a  chance  of  escaping  if  the  premises  were  searched 
We  spent  all  Sunday,  the  24th  of  July,  on  this  loft ;  not 
wishing  further  to  endanger  our  hospitable  host,  when 
it  became  dark  we  quit  our  retreat  and  went  along  the 
Circular  Road  to  a  lane  off  Sackville  Street,  to  a  Mrs. 
Toole's  lodgings.  She  was  a  widow,  and  a  county  of 
Wexford  woman ;  she  had  her  nephew  John  Sheridan, 
and  his  comrade  Sawyers  boarding  and  lodging  with 
her.  This  good  woman  readily  consented  to  let  Berney 
and  me  pass  the  night  in  her  house.  A  small  closet, 
with  a  bed  belonging  to  her  nephew,  was  given  up  to 
us,  whilst  he  and  his  comrade  slept  on  a  mattress  in  the 
outer  room.  Berney  and  I  lay  on  the  bed  inside  in  our 
clothes.  Between  ten  and  eleven  o'clock,  Sheriff  Cash, 
at  the  head  of  several  armed  yeomen,  came  to  Mrs. 
Toole's  to  know  from  her  if  she  had  not  strangers 


lodging  in  her  house;  she  with  great  composure 
answered:  "You  see,  Mr.  Sheriff,  I  have  only  my 
nephew  and  his  comrade,  both  you  know  work  for  your 
honour,"  pointing  at  the  same  time  to  where  they  were 
lying.  Sheriff  Cash  kept  a  timber  yard,  and  fortunately 
he  knew  Mrs.  Toole,  and  seemed  satisfied  that  she  told 
him  the  truth ;  for  going  away  he  bid  her  a  very  good 
night,  calling  her  by  her  name  in  a  friendly  manner.  I 
must  say  that  Berney  and  I  heard  the  last  words  of  the 
Sheriff  with  delight;  our  situation  being  so  perilous, 
having  no  means  left  us  for  escape,  had  a  search  been 
made  by  the  Orange  yeomen ;  we  were  only  armed  with 
the  short  pocket  pistols  which  I  have  already  described, 
of  musket  calibrei  four  inch  barrels.  Indeed  it  is  only 
justice  to  say  that  Sheriff  Cash  was  really  "gallant" 
on  this  occasion ;  he  left  his  guards  at  the  door,  and  did 
not  allow  them  to  enter  the  lady's  apartment  whilst  he 
was  questioning  her  about  the  persons  she  lodged,  etc. 

Good  Mrs.  Toole  went  early  in  the  morning  to  apprise 
my  brother  of  our  situation ;  she  returned  quickly  to 
tell  me  that  the  timber  yard  was  as  usual  open,  and 
business  seemingly  going  on  as  before,  which  delighted 
me,  as  I  feared  my  brother  might  be  arrested  and  thrown 
into  prison  on  account  of  his  place  being  so  much  fre- 
quented by  the  persons  now  involved  in  our  unlucky 
attempt.  Berney  and  I  spent  Monday,  the  25th  of  July, 
in  our  closet,  anxiously  v/aiting  my  brother's  arrival. 
When  he  came  at  dusk,  we  both  walked  out  with  him ; 
Michael  Berney  leaving  us  to  go  to  his  sister  Mrs. 
Murphy's,  whom  Mr.  Kennedy  had  had  the  precaution 
to  inform  that  she  might  expect  her  brother  that 

As  the  names  of  all  persons  lodging  in  each  house 
was  ordered  by  the  municipal  authorities  to  be  pasted  up 
en  the  outside  door,  no  alternative  was  left  but  to 
remain  at  our  dwellings,  or  be  liable  to  be  outlawed.  I 


chose  the  former,  and  on  Tuesday  morning,  the  26th, 
I  had  the  yard  opened,  and  I  endeavoured  to  assume  a 
business-like  air,  as  if  nothing  had  happened.  God 
only  knew  my  afflicted  state,  at  every  moment  expecting 
to  be  arrested,  and  then  not  hearing  anything  of  what 
had  become  of  dear  Robert  Emmet  augmented  the  sad- 
ness of  my  situation  beyond  description.  Fortunately, 
in  the  midst  of  my  perplexities,  the  truest  and  most 
generous  of  our  associates,  Mr.  Phil  Long,  sent  word  to 
me  to  meet  him  at  Stephen's  Green,  and  after  we 
had  spoken  over  the  failure  and  disaster  at  Thomas 
Street,  he  nobly  told  me  that  as  long  as  he  had  the 
means  (and  he  was  then  rich),  that  the  brave  men  who 
should  have  the  misfortune  to  be  arrested  and  committed 
to  prison,  should  not  be  abandoned;  that  the  best 
lawyers  should  be  retained  to  defend  them,  etc.,  and  he 
begged  me  to  be  the  bearer  of  his  intentions  on  the 
matter  to  the  respective  families  when  any  of  their 
members  had  the  misfortune  to  be  imprisoned ;  but  his 
name  was  not  to  be  mentioned  in  those  transactions. 
As  one  could  not  be  too  cautious  to  avoid  being  com- 
mitted unnecessarily  in  those  dangerous  times,  Mr. 
Long  arranged  with  me  to  meet  him  every  morning  at 
a  certain  hour  at  Stephen's  Green ;  he  did  not  like  to 
call  on  me,  lest  he  might  be  followed  by  a  spy,  and  for 
the  same  reason  he  did  not  wish  me  to  call  on  him  at 
his  house  in  Crow  Street. 

Mr.  Phil  Long  thought  it  would  be  advisable  and 
politic  to  give  some  money  to  Mrs.  MacCabe,  the  wife 
of  the  unfortunate  man  who  had  been  arrested  on 
Sunday  morning,  the  24th,  at  nis  own  door,  armed  with 
a  blunderbuss,  and  brought  from  thence  to  the  Castle, 
where,  no  doubt,  he  had  been  put  to  the  torture  in  order 
to  extort  from  him  all  he  knew  respecting  our  organ- 
ization. I  called  on  Mrs.  MacCabe  ;  her  house  in  Francis 
Street  being  shut  up,  she  was  lodging  with  a  friend  m 


the  same  street.  When  I  gave  her  the  ten  pound  note 
and  told  her  that  the  gentleman  who  sent  her  the 
money  bid  me  tell  her  that  neither  she  nor  her  husband 
should  ever  want  as  long  as  he  lived,  the  unfortunate 
woman  burst  into  a  flood  of  tears,  and  it  was  some  time 
before  she  could  answer  me,  apparently  conscious  that 
her  husband  did  not  merit  such  kindness.  She  told  aie 
she  was  not  allowed  to  speak  to  him,  but  in  the  pre- 
sence of  two  keepers  of  the  Castle ;  but  she  thought 
that  even  in  their  presence  she  could  say  to  him  that 
she  had  kind  friends  who  promised  not  to  neglect  her. 
I  told  Mrs.  MacCabe  to  be  careful  never  to  mention 
any  names,  and  I  promised  to  return  again  to  see  her. 

Every  time  Mr.  Long  and  I  met,  we  had  to  commu- 
nicate to  each  other  something  sad  respecting  persons 
arrested.  Still  we  hoped  that  there  would  be  no  infor- 
mers, as  the  men  in  the  secret  were  sober  and  prudent, 
and  being  now  put  on  their  guard  against  the  spies 
which  no  doubt  would  be  sent  amongst  them  hereafter, 
there  was  less  to  be  dreaded  on  that  score ;  and  it 
must  be  said  to  the  honour  of  all  those  concerned,  that 
up  to  the  breaking  out  at  Thomas  Street,  the  Govern- 
ment spies  were  completely  baffled  in  the  city  as  well 
as  in  the  country.  As  to  the  arrest  of  poor  Macintosh, 
it  could  only  be  attributed  to  his  having  taken  out  the 
lease  in  his  own  name  of  the  house  in  Patrick  Street, 
which  served  as  the  depot,  and  where  the  unfortunate 
explosion  took  place  on  Saturday,  the  i6th  of  July,  and 
which  was  the  cause  of  the  premature  rising,  and  all 
the  misfortunes  which  followed  Thomas  Keenan, 
Macintosh's  brother-in-law,  was  arrested  at  the  same 
time  and  committed  to  prison.  Poor  Denis  Redmond 
might  have  had  a  chance  of  escaping  only  for  his  own 
imprudence ;  indeed  his  cousin  Michael  Berney  always 
feared  he  would  do  something  flighty.  When  we  were 
walking  outside  Black  Pits,  on  Saturday,  the  23rd  of 


July,  he  discharged  his  blunderbuss  across  a  hedge 
where  a  horse  made  some  noise.  He  however  got  safe 
back  to  his  house  on  the  Coal  Quay,  and  there  instead 
of  endeavouring  to  hide  the  pikes  in  his  own  premises, 
he  began  to  throw  them  over  a  wall  into  a  court  yard 
belonging  to  another  house ;  by  this  act  of  folly  all  was 
discovered  in  the  morning.  Notwithstanding  all  this, 
he  escaped  to  Newry,  and  was  on  the  point  of  getting 
a  passage  on  board  a  vessel,  when  he  was  arrested  and 
brought  back  a  prisoner  to  Dublin.  In  the  various 
other  houses  where  pikes  and  fire-arms  had  been  depo- 
sited, they  were  so  carefully  concealed,  that  they  were 
never  discovered ;  consequently  no  one  suffered.  Had 
poor  Redmond  concealed  in  like  manner  in  his  own 
house  the  pikes  left  there,  he  might  be  alive  and  well  to 
this  day,  for  he  was  not  otherwise  implicated  than  by 
lending  his  house  on  the  occasion. 

Mr.  Phil  Long,  hearing  of  those  arrests,  bid  me  go  at 
once  and  retain  Counsellor  Bennet  and  tell  him  at  the 
same  time  to  be  good  enough  to  point  out,  or  name 
other  lawyers  who  should  be  retained  immediately  to 
assist  him  in  defending  the  unfortunate  prisoners.  Mr. 
Bennet  promised  to  get  everything  possible  ready  by 
the  time  the  trials  came  on.  It  was  now  necessary  to 
apprise  the  poor  fellows  immured  in  their  dungeons, 
through  their  families,  that  everything  was  doing  that 
could  be  done  for  their  defence.  I  being  charged  with 
this  commission  felt  much  indeed  that  I  was  not  at 
liberty  to  mention  the  name  of  the  worthy  man  who 
came  forward  at  this  awful  moment  to  render  such 
services.  In  my  mind,  Phil  Long  was,  of  all  the  leaders, 
the  one  who  was  most  entitled  to  the  praise  and  grati- 
tude of  the  people.  Other  leaders  might,  perhaps,  excel 
him  in  the  field,  but  could  never  surpass  him  in  gene- 
rosity and  true  patriotism  and  in  his  exertions  for  the 
independence  of  Ireland. 


Several  days  elapsed  after  the  disasters  of  Thomas 
Street,  before  Robert  Emmet  came  back  to  his  former 
lodgings  at  Mrs.  Palmer's  outside  the  canal  at  Harold's 
Cross.  Both  Mr.  John  Patten  and  Mr.  Phil  Long  en- 
deavoured to  persuade  him  of  the  urgent  necessity  of 
his  going  at  once  to  France,  to  which  he  replied,  that  it 
should  never  be  said  of  him  that  he  had  abandoned  the 
brave  people  implicated  through  his  means.  He  wished 
much,  however,  that  some  fit  person  were  sent  imme- 
diately to  Paris,  to  communicate  to  the  French  Govern- 
ment, through  his  brother,  the  situation  of  things  in 

The  second  day  after  dear  Robert  Emmet  returned 
from  the  mountains,  I  had  my  last  melancholy  interview 
with  him.  He  seemed  much  affected  and  cast  down ; 
he  however  began  at  once  to  explain  to  me  the  causes 
which  prevented  him  from  coming  to  join  me  at  the 
Coal  Quay  on  Saturday  night,  the  23rd  of  July,  as  had 
been  agreed  upon  between  us.  "The  trustworthy  Ned 
Condon,"  he  said,  "  was  coming  with  six  hackney 
coaches  to  the  depot ;  walking  beside  the  first  coach,  an 
officer  rode  up  to  him  and  asked  him  where  he  was  going 
with  so  many  coaches.  Ned  Condon  replied,  '  Sir,  I  am 
hard  of  hearing '  getting  at  the  same  time  nearer  to  him. 
The  officer  then  repeated  the  question  in  a  menacing 
tone ;  on  which  Condon  discharged  his  pistol  at  him. 
The  coachmen  witnessing  this  act,  escaped  with  their 
coaches,  and  Condon  seeing  them  drive  off,  returned  to 
tell  me  what  had  happened  to  him.  I  then  decided  that 
the  men  who  were  to  be  conveyed  in  the  coaches  should 
go  on  foot  to  the  Castle,  and  whilst  preparing  for  this 
march,  a  false  alarm  was  given  that  troops  were  sur- 
rounding the  depot  and  in  consequence  our  men  there 
began  to  rush  out,  too  hurriedly  no  doubt,  to  fight  in 
the  open  street,  and  by  the  time  they  got  to  Thomas 
Street,  disorder  and  confusion  got  amongst  them.  You 


heard,  of  course,  what  occurred  there,  after  which  an 
attack  on  the  Castle  could  not  be  thought  of ;  conse- 
quently the  signal  rockets  were  not  made  use  of." 

I  could  see  plainly  how  he  was  overwhelmed  with 
sorrow  whilst  speaking  on  this  sad  subject.  He 
thought  the  person  to  be  sent  to  Paris  should  be  one  ,of 
those  who  had  a  perfect  knowledge  of  the  organization, 
and  the  vast  preparations  which  had  been  so  success- 
fully carried  on  until  the  fatal  explosion  took  place  at 
the  Patrick  Street  depot.  "  As  you  are "  he  added,, 
"fully  in  possession  of  all  the  circumstances,  it  will  be 
agreeably  felt,  when  it  is  known  that  you  are  the  mes- 
senger to  my  brother."  I  could  only  promise  that  I 
should  do  my  utmost  to  execute  the  commission  en- 
trusted to  my  care.  On  which  I  took  my  last  farewell 
of  this  magnanimous  young  man,  who  during  this  inter- 
view never  uttered  a  word  of  blame  against  any  of 
those  leaders  who  were  assembled  at  Mr.  John  Hevey's 
and  whose  presence  with  him  might  have  preserved  dis- 
cipline and  prevented  the  disasters  and  false  alarm 
which  produced  such  bad  effects  on  the  men  in  Thomas 
Street.  One  of  these  leaders  at  least  was  blameable : 
William  Dowdall  should  have  come  at  once  to  Robert 
Emmet's  assistance  at  this  critical  moment,  he  being 
his  confidant  and  inmate  all  the  time  they  were  at 
Butterfield  Lane.  He  could  have  no  excuse  to  offer  for 
his  conduct  on  this  occasion.  I  cannot  give  any  opinion 
as  to  the  others  who  were  at  Mr.  Hevey's,  not  knowing 
their  engagements  with  Mr.  Emmet,  but  their  absence 
was  a  cruel  loss,  for  amongst  them  were  the  bravest  of 
the  brave,  who  would  have  made  the  men  observe  order 
in  their  march  to  the  Castle,  which  would  have  been- 
surprised  and  taken,  the  Government  being  then  com- 
pletely off  its  guard.  Once  in  possession  of  it,  the 
citizens  en  masse  would  have  flocked  to  the  standard  of 
independence  hoisted  on  this  monument,  the  embem  of 


Ireland's  degradation    for    centuries    and   the   eminent 
statesmen  alluded  to  in  Robert  Emmet's  speech,  would 
have  been  hastening  to  the  Castle,  there  to  take  their 
seat  in  the  provisional  government.     A  few  hours  would 
have  sufficed  to  dislodge  the  English  garrison  of  Dublin, 
which  mustered  weaker  than  at  any  other  time,  and  by 
threatening  to  set  fire  to  those  quarters  where  resistance 
was  made,  the  troops  defending  them  would  have  been 
soon  forced  to  capitulate.     Not  for  centuries  had  Ireland 
so  favourable  an  opportunity  of  getting  rid  of  the  cruel 
English  yoke ;    everyone  in  the  country  disaffected  or 
discontented  except  the  contemptible  place-hunters  and 
the  Orangemen  ;  and  France,  the  most  powerful  military 
nation  in  the  world,  then  at  war  with  England,  anxiously 
waiting  for  an  occasion  to  attack  her  in  her  weak  and 
most  vulnerable  part,   Ireland.      Under  all   these  con- 
siderations, was  it  to  be  wondered  at,  that  the  men  of 
1798,  as  well  as  the  Irish  patriots  in  general  thought  it 
both  wise  and  prudent  to  be  prepared  with  arms  and 
ammunition  for  those  events  hourly  expected,  the  land- 
ing of  a  French  army  on  the  coast  of  Ireland  ?     Not- 
withstanding all  this,  there  are  many  who  think  it  would 
be  ridiculous  for  the  Irish  under  any  contingency  to  be 
looking   for   their   independence.     To    such   lukewarm 
patriots  I  would  say,  it  would  be  more  ridiculous  and 
absurd  to  think,  that  the  inhabitants  of  Ireland  will  ever 
cease  declaring  that  they  have  a  right  to  govern  them- 
selves, and  that  they  will  ever  be  ready  to  embrace  any 
favourable  occasion  to  get  rid  of  their  task  masters  ;  and 
more,    that    the    memory    of    the    ever-to-be-lamented 
Robert  Emmet  will  never  cease  to  be  revered,  down  to 
the  latest  posterity,  and  his  plans  will  ever  be  considered 
and  consulted  by  all  those  wishing  for  the  independence 
of  poor  Ireland. 

I  was  daily  waiting  in  the  most  cruel  anxiety  to  hear 
of  some  means  of  getting  to  France,  thinking  my  pre- 


sencc  at  Paris  with  Thomas  Addis  Emmet  might  be  of 
use  in  obtaining  relief  from  the  French  Government, 
when  one  evening  the  good  Phil  Long  sent  his  nephew, 
a  young  lad,  Davie  Fitzgerald,  to  tell  me  that  an 
American  vessel  would  be  sailing  from  Dublin  direct  to 
Bordeaux  in  two  or  three  days  at  furthest.  He  gave  me 
at  the  same  time  forty  pounds  to  pay  the  preparatory 
expenses ;  the  remainder  of  one  hundred  pounds,  the 
sum  considered  absolutely  necessary  for  the  journey, 
I  was  to  receive  later.  Next  day  I  met  Captain 
O'Connor  by  appointment.  It  was  this  worthy  country- 
man who  arranged  with  the  Yankee  captain  to  take  me 
as  a  passenger  on  board  his  vessel,  where  I  was  to  act 
in  the  capacity  of  steward,  Mr.  O'Connor's  own  vessel 
was  lying  also  in  the  Custom  House  Dock  at  the  time. 
He  traded  between  New  York  (his  home)  and  Dublin ; 
he  was  originally  from  Wexford,  but  now  a  citizen  of 
the  United  States.  The  doctor  of  his  vessel,  a  nice 
young  man  of  the  name  of  Horner,  from  the  county  of 
Wicklow,  was  with  him. 

Captain  O'Connor  advised  me  to  go  at  once  and  buy 
my  sailor's  dress  and  a  mattress.  He  sent  Doctor  Horner 
with  me  to  make  purchases,  whilst  he  went  to  endeavour 
to  procure  for  me  a  passport.  We  then  separated 
Horner  and  I  after  buying  my  jacket,  trousers,  bedding, 
etc.,  and  paying  for  those  articles  which  were  to  be  sent 
in  the  evening  to  Captain  O'Connor's  vessel,  were  re- 
turning, when  we  met  Captain  O'Connor  coming  in  haste 
to  look  for  us.  He  said,  "  I  have  just  quit  the  Yankee 
captain,  who  told  me  as  the  wind  had  changed  and 
become  favourable,  he  was  determined  to  sail  imme- 
diately ;  you  must  therefore  come  at  once  to  my  vessel, 
there  is  no  time  to  be  lost."  On  which  Dr.  Horner  and 
I  went  to  High  Street  to  get  guineas  for  my  bank  notes, 
at  a  watchmaker's  where  I  was  known,  having  some- 
times brought  customers  to  the  house.  I  asked  the 


young  man  in  the  shop  if  he  could  get  me  the  gold.  He 
replied,  no,  but  said  when  his  brother  came  back  he 
could  give  me  the  guineas  I  wanted.  "But  if  you  are 
in  a  hurry  and  cannot  wait  till  my  brother  returns,  I 
will  pick  the  lock  of  his  desk."  No  sooner  was  this 
said  than  it  was  done.  He,  no  doubt,  saw  I  was  in  a 
hurry.  I  paid  him  at  the  rate  of  two  shillings  and  six- 
pence for  each  guinea,  and  when  I  got  them,  Doctor 
Horner  and  I  returned  quickly  to  the  vessel,  where 
Captain  O'Connor  was  anxiously  waiting  for  us.  This 
excellent  man,  to  whom  I  could  never  be  grateful  enough 
for  his  exertions  to  aid  me  at  this  critical  moment  told 
me  he  had  succeeded  in  persuading  one  of  his  sailors 
to  sell  me  his  passport  for  twenty  dollars.  This  man 
was  the  only  one  of  his  crew  whose  size  and  age  corres- 
ponded with  mine ;  his  name  was  Ephraim  Brownall, 
from  the  State  of  Mississippi. 

I  asked  Captain  O'Connor  what  I  should  have  to  pay 
for  my  passage.  He  replied,  "  I  don't  like  to  have  the 
appearance  of  making  a  bargain  with  the  fellow;  he 
might  refuse  at  once  to  take  you,  but  when  you  are  out 
at  sea  to-night,  pay  him  whatever  he  demands.  You 
know  he  can  render  you  great  service,  which  I  am  con- 
fident he  will  on  my  account ;  he  knows  nothing  about 
your  mission,  and  of  course  you  will  have  no  conversa- 
tion with  him  on  that  subject." 

It  was  getting  late,  the  Yankee  vessel  was  preparing 
to  be  off,  the  anchor  was  raised,  and  as  yet  none  of  the 
articles  which  Doctor  Horner  and  I  had  purchased  were 
sent ;  to  remedy  this  neglect  of  the  slop  merchant,  as 
there  was  no  time  to  be  lost,  the  excellent  Captain 
O'Connor  gave  me  his  own  jacket  and  trousers,  neck 
handkerchief,  etc.  and  everything  necessary,  all  fitting 
me  tolerably  well.  When  attired  in  my  sailor's  dress, 
he  accompanied  me  on  board  the  American  vessel  and 
introduced  me  to  the  captain.  He  then  took  leave  of 


me,  and  in  an  instant  we  sailed  out  of  the  Custom  House 
Dock.  I  perceived  my  dear  brother  on  the  quay :  we 
could  only  take  our  last  farewell  with  salutes  of  the 

My  sorrow  at  this  moment,  quitting  all  that  was  dear 
to  me,  was  great  indeed.  How  much  more  would  it  not 
have  been,  but  for  the  hope  I  entertained  of  soon  coming 
back  and  making  part  of  an  army  destined  to  render  my 
beloved  country  happy  and  independent !  But  alas ! 
poor  Ireland  was  doomed  to  be  again  disappointed.  The 
plans  of  the  great  captain  then  at  the  head  of  the 
French  Government  were  deranged  and  frustrated,  by 
the  powerful  effect  of  the  English  subsidies  lavished  in 
such  profusion  on  the  mercenary  soldiers  and  govern- 
ments of  the  Continent 

In  counting  my  money  I  found  I  had  still  thirty-nine 
pounds  and  some  shillings,  besides  three  French  pieces 
in  silver  of  five  shillings  value  each ;  these  Miss  Biddy 
Palmer  gave  me  the  night  before,  when  taking  leave  of 
her  and  her  respected  father. 

After  I  had  reckoned  my  money,  I  went  down  to  the 
captain's  cabin,  and  told  him  I  wished  to  pay  him  for 
my  passage,  and  asked  the  amount.  "  Well "  he  replied, 
"it  is  only  about  nineteen  guineas  and  a-half."  On 
which,  I  handed  him  that  sum.  He  seemed  in  great 
good  humour  and  high  spirits ;  he  showed  me  his  small 
provision  stores,  telling  me,  as  steward  of  the  vessel  I 
ought  to  know  about  all  these  matters.  He  assured  me 
that  if  the  wind  continued  as  it  was  then,  we  should  be 
in  Bordeaux  in  less  than  four  days ;  this  indeed  was 
cheering  for  me  to  hear,  in  my  melancholy  situation. 
The  mate  of  the  ship  was  a  very  nice  young  man,  and 
I  was  glad  to  see  his  hair  cut  short  like  my  own ;  but 
his  face  being  sunburnt,  he  had  the  appearance  of  a 
sailor  who  had  seen  service,  whilst  I  had  to  follow 
Captain  O'Connor's  advice,  and  make  up  for  my  want 



of  browning ;  before  I  left  his  ship  he  made  me  rub  my 
hands  on  the  deck,  and  then  my  face  several  times,  so 
that  with  not  washing  it,  I  soon  got  the  weather-beaten 
hue.  The  crew  of  the  vessel  was  composed  of  the 
captain,  a  cabin  boy,  the  mate  and  six  sailors ;  rather 
few  for  a  long  voyage.  Three  of  the  sailors  had  been 
lately  inoculated,  and  the  pock  appeared  on  their  faces 
as  if  it  were  the  natural  small-pox  which  they  had.  Our 
first  day  passed  on  very  cheerfully,  as  we  were  making 
five  or  six  knots  an  hour,  but  early  in  the  morning  of 
the  second  day,  we  were  hailed  by  an  English  cruiser. 
We  had  to  reef  our  sail  and  lie  to,  whilst  an  officer  from 
this  cruiser  came  to  question  our  captain  and  inspect  his 
little  ship.  Fortunately  the  English  ship  was  returning 
from  some  distant  voyage,  and  consequently  had  no 
knowledge  of  what  had  taken  place  recently  at  Dublin. 
The  Yankee  captain  however  seemed  much  alarmed — 
no  doubt  on  my  account,  for  he  could  have  nothing  to 
dread  for  himself  or  his  crew;  still  he  acted  with  great 
circumspection  and  ordered  the  three  sailors  who  had 
the  pretended  small-pox  to  go  to  their  beds  or  ham- 
mocks, and  there  to  remain,  feigning  to  be  suffering, 
till  the  inspection  finished.  The  English  officer  from 
the  cruiser  passing  through  the  different  parts  of  the 
vessel,  remarked  those  men  in  the  small-pox,  and  asked 
the  Yankee  captain  how  he  could  have  thought  of 
sailing  with  such  a  crew.  To  which  he  replied,  that  a 
doctor  whom  he  consulted  told  him  that  his  men  would 
have  a  better  chance  of  recovering  at  sea  than  in  re- 
maining longer  in  the  Custom  House  Docks  at  Dublin, 
where  contagion  of  some  kind  seemed  to  reign  at  this 
moment ;  besides,  the  climate  of  Lisbon,  to  which  port 
he  was  bound,  would  be  more  favourable  for  that  dis- 
ease. He  then  asked  the  English  officer  to  have  the 
goodness  to  let  the  doctor  of  his  ship  come  and  visit  his 
sick  sailors.  The  officer  answered  drilyA  that  their  doctor 


had  other  things  to  mind  than  waiting  on  Americans. 
He  being  invited  to  accept  a  glass  of  good  Dublin  porter, 
and  I  beckoned  to  bring  a  bottle,  he  declined,  in  an 
equally  ungracious  manner;  evidently  he  was  in  a 
hurry  to  get  away  from  a  vessel  where  sickness  so  pre- 
vailed. To  my  great  delight,  I  soon  saw  him  step  into 
his  boat  to  regain  his  ship,  for  certainly  I  was  far  from 
being  at  my  ease  whilst  he  remained  in  our  vessel. 

After  his  departure,  I  could  not  help  expressing  my 
surprise  to  the  Yankee  captain,  that  he  should  wish  the 
English  doctor  to  come  and  visit  his  sailors,  as  it  would 
then  be  soon  discovered  they  were  not  sick,  only  inocu- 
lated. "  Well,"  he  said,  "  it  was  because  I  made  that  re- 
quest, which  I  knew  would  not  be  complied  with,  that  the 
officer  placed  confidence  in  me  and  believed  everything 
I  told  him  to  be  true."  Of  course  after  this  I  was  satis- 
fied, and  began  to  think  that  he  had  more  cleverness 
than  I  suspected  at  first.  I  asked  him  if  he  thought  we 
should  be  often  visited  before  we  arrived ;  he  said,  that 
as  long  as  we  were  sailing  in  the  direct  line  to  Lisbon, 
he  did  not  mind,  but  once  quitting  that  direction  to  get 
to  the  mouth  of  the  river  Gironde,  we  might  expect  to 
be  visited  again  by  English  cruisers,  and  certainly  on 
the  third  day  we  could  perceive  several,  but  they  were 
a  good  distance  off,  and  fortunately  we  got  on  tolerably 
well  all  that  day  and  night.  The  next  morning  early, 
the  fourth  day,  the  captain  took  a  French  pilot  on  board 
his  vessel  to  steer  her  up  the  river  to  Bordeaux.  The 
wind  failing,  the  day  was  far  advanced  before  we 
reached  the  station  where  the  French  squadron  lay  at 
anchor,  guarding  the  mouth  of  the  river.  Here  our 
Yankee  captain  was  signalled  to  go  on  board  the  com- 
modore's frigate.  He  went  there  in  haste,  without  letting 
me  know  he  was  going,  which  displeased  me  much,  for 
I  should  have  accompanied  him  and  put  myself  at  once 
at  the  disposition  of  the  French  officer  in  command 


there,  whom  I  should  have  prayed,  as  a  favour,  to  have 
me  sent  in  custody  to  Bordeaux,  and  from  thence  to 
Paris,  where  Mr.  Thomas  Addis  Emmet  would  explain 
to  the  French  Government  the  nature  of  my  mission. 
I  was  grievously  disappointed  and  annoyed  when  I  saw 
the  captain  return  with  a  serjeant  and  eight  marine 
soldiers  in  his  little  boat;  they  had  come  to  guard  the 
vessel  during  the  night,  and  to  prevent  any  communi- 
cation with  the  shore,  as  the  vessel  was  not  allowed  to 
proceed  further.  The  captain  returning  on  board,  saw 
I  was  not  satisfied,  because  he  had  not  mentioned  to 
the  French  commodore  anything  about  me.  He  said, 
"  How  could  I  have  thought  that  an  American  ship 
would  have  been  prevented  sailing  up  the  river  to  Bor- 
deaux ?  It  is  a  damned  new  regulation,  which  says  that 
vessels  coming  from  a  country  in  war  with  France  won't 
be  admitted.  But,  never  mind,  don't  be  uneasy ;  I  shall 
sail  in  the  morning  for  Lisbon,  and  it  being  a  neutral 
port,  clearing  out  there,  and  returning  here  immediately, 
we  will  then  land  at  Bordeaux  without  any  hindrance." 
To  all  this  I  made  no  reply ;  I  was  vexed,  and  began  to 
think  very  badly  of  him,  for  had  he  mentioned  to  the 
French  commodore,  as  he  should  have  done,  that  he  had 
a  passenger  on  board  who  wished  to  land  at  Bordeaux,  I 
should  have  been  brought  forthwith  to  the  French 
frigate  to  be  examined.  Fortunately  for  me,  he  was 
allowed  to  pass  the  night  at  anchor  in  the  bay,  other- 
wise I  should  have  run  the  risk  of  being  taken  by  the 
English  cruisers,  had  he  been  ordered  to  sail  away 
without  stopping.  I  knew  the  guard  of  marine  soldiers 
would  return  to  their  ship  in  the  morning,  and  I  resolved 
to  go  with  them  at  the  risk  of  my  life.  The  cabin  boy 
understanding  a  little  French,  came  to  tell  me  that  the 
French  pilot  promised  to  land  me  safely  next  night  on 
the  French  coast,  and  that  I  had  no  occasion  to  try  any 
other  means.  I  gave  no  answer  to  this  proposal,  deter- 


mined  to  act  on  my  own  plan  in  the  morning1.  As  soon 
as  it  was  day,  I  dressed ;  I  put  on  my  black  coat,  black 
pantaloons,  a  white  waistcoat  and  Hessian  boots.  I 
then  began  to  walk  up  and  down  the  deck,  in  hopes  that 
I  might  attract  the  notice  of  the  guard-ships,  but  a  kind 
of  mist  or  fog  prevailed,  which  no  doubt  prevented  them 
seeing  me  for  some  time.  However,  the  fog  soon 
cleared  up,  and  the  Yankee  vessel  was  signalled  to  be 
off.  Her  anchor  was  raised,  and  she  under  weigh,  when 
to  my  great  joy,  I  saw  the  boat  coming  from  the 
French  squadron  to  take  back  the  marine  soldiers  to 
their  ship.  I  made  a  small  bundle  of  good  Captain 
O'Connor's  jacket  and  trousers,  the  only  luggage  I 
possessed,  and  the  moment  I  saw  the  last  of  those 
soldiers  and  the  sergeant  who  commanded  them,  get 
into  the  boat,  I  threw  my  bundle  down  into  it ;  then 
taking  hold  of  a  rope,  I  leapt  after  it,  not  liking  to  go 
the  regular  way  by  the  ladder,  fearing  the  brute  of  a 
captain  might  be  capable  of  stopping  me.  I  was  so 
disgusted,  that  I  left  the  vessel  without  speaking  to  him, 
or  even  to  the  mate  whom  I  had  rather  thought  well  of. 
When  I  got  into  the  boat,  looking  back  to  the  deck,  I 
could  perceive  that  the  French  pilot  was  holding  some 
conversation  with  the  soldiers,  and  one  of  them  had  the 
audacity  to  take  hold  of  me,  and  as  I  thought,  wanted 
to  force  me  back  to  the  vessel.  However,  I  soon 
loosened  his  hand  from  my  collar,  and  threw  him  on  his 
back,  when  I  went  and  placed  myself  beside  the  ser- 
geant, making  signs  to  him,  the  best  way  I  could,  that 
I  was  under  his  care  till  we  reached  the  commodore's 
vessel.  Seeing  a  person  in  coloured  clothes  in  the  boat 
with  the  soldiers  coming  from  the  American  ship,  made 
the  officers  of  the  French  squadron  curious  to  see  what 
kind  of  being  he  was ;  I  could  perceive  their  telescopes 
all  pointed  to  the  boat,  as  we  approached  the  frigate ; 
but  I  was  soon  relieved  from  their  curiosity.  The  officer 


in  command  met  me  on  the  stairs,  took  me  by  the  hand, 
conducted  me  to  his  cabin,  and  made  me  sit  down  beside 

When  his  interpreter  came,  I  explained  briefly  the 
object  of  my  mission  to  Paris,  told  him  it  was  imma- 
terial to  me  how  I  was  sent,  provided  I  went  there 
quickly;  he  promised  me  I  should  be  sent  off  to  Bor- 
deaux immediately,  and  that  once  there,  I  should  be  at 
the  disposition  of  the  marine  prefect,  who  he  was  sure 
would  comply  with  my  request,  and  have  me  sent  with- 
out delay  to  Paris.  He  then  asked  me  some  questions 
about  the  Yankee  captain,  and  the  sum  I  paid  him  for  my 
passage.  I  had  scarcely  time  to  answer,  when  I  saw 
the  fellow  ushered  into  the  cabin,  where  we  were  sitting. 
He  was  not  asked  to  sit  down,  but  received  instantly  a 
severe  reprimand  from  the  commander,  in  the  following 
terms: — "You  told  me  nothing  about  this  gentleman 
yesterday,  though  you  knew  he  wanted  to  go  in  haste 
to  Bordeaux,  I  don't  say  you  are  in  the  pay  of  England 
but  your  conduct  on  this  occasion  shows  you  are  not 
friendly  to  France.  Your  God  is  traffic,  you  intended 
to  make  nineteen  guineas  and  a-half  more  of  your  pas- 
senger, before  you  put  him  at  liberty.  You  know  well 
that  the  fare  from  Dublin  to  Bordeaux  is  only  five 
pounds  at  most ;  therefore,  refund  the  balance  at  once." 
On  which  the  poor  Yankee  laid  the  nineteen  guineas 
and  a-half  on  the  table.  The  commander  bid  him  keep 
five,  and  hand  the  remainder  to  me.  Then  ensued  a 
scene  I  can  never  forget  I  thought  that  if  I  took  back 
this  money,  it  would  be  acting  unhandsomely  towards 
a  man,  who,  three  days  previous,  by  his  manoeuvring 
with  his  pretended  sick  sailors,  when  we  were  boarded 
by  the  English  cruiser,  had  probably  saved  my  life.  I 
felt  overcome  with  emotion  in  mentioning  the  circum- 
stances to  the  French  commander,  and  I  told  him,  at  the 
same  time,  that  I  could  not  on  any  account  think  of 


taking  back  the  money.  "That  is  your  own  affair,"  he 
replied,  I  thought  rather  dryly ;  he  then  pointed  to  the 
Yankee  captain  to  take  up  his  money,  when  he  dis- 
missed him.  The  poor  fellow  came  with  tears  in  his 
eyes  to  bid  me  farewell ;  so  we  parted  this  time  better 
friends  than  when  I  was  leaving  his  vessel  an  hour 

A  nice  decked  boat  was  getting  ready  to  take  me  up 
to  Bordeaux  as  soon  as  the  crew  should  have  break- 
fasted ;  I  took  a  walk  on  the  deck,  waiting  the  break- 
fast hour,  and  there  I  met  the  interpreter.  I  was  anxious 
to  know  from  him  if  I  had  displeased  the  commodore  by 
not  taking  back  from  the  Yankee  captain  the  money  he 
over-charged  for  my  passage.  "  On  the  contrary,"  he 
said,  "  the  whole  transaction  did  you  great  honour :  it 
showed  you  were  disinterested  and  forgiving  at  the 
same  time  "  ;  and  not  having  mentioned  anything  about 
the  conduct  of  the  marine  soldiers,  the  sergeant  who 
commanded  them  bid  him  thank  me  for  it,  as  he  would 
have  been  blamed  had  I  made  complaint  against  the 
soldier  who  wanted  to  force  me  back  to  the  vessel. 

I  was  satisfied  that  all  I  wished  to  have  explained 
would  be  well  translated  by  the  sailor  interpreter,  who 
was  an  Irishman,  of  the  name  of  Brown,  from  Baggot 
Street,  Dublin.  He  spoke  French  fluently ;  having 
been  several  years  in  the  service.  I  thought  it  augured 
well  to  meet  a  countryman  under  such  circumstances ;  and 
though  Brown  was  only  a  simple  sailor,  he  knew  a  great 
deal  then  about  the  state  of  France.  "  You  must  know," 
he  said  to  me,  "  it  is  no  more  a  Republic,  and  that  is  the 
reason,  when  you  mentioned  a  merchant,  I  translated 
negotiant  en  grand."  He  told  me  that  the  officers  were 
very  kind  to  him ;  and  he  seemed  quite  contented  with 
his  situation.  I  left  him  my  jacket  and  trousers,  and  I 
gave  him  one  of  the  six  livres  pieces  I  got  from  Miss 
Biddy  Palmer  previous  to  my  leaving  Dublin.  The 


commodore  coming  to  invite  me  down  to  breakfast,  I 
took  my  leave  of  poor  Brown  and  followed  the  officer 
who  soon  placed  me  beside  him  at  the  breakfast  table, 
which  was  most  splendidly  served  with  all  kinds  of 
viands,  fruits,  etc.,  everything  the  season  could  afford. 
It  was  the  first  French  repast  I  had  seen,  and  I  cannot 
forget  the  favourable  impression  it  made  on  me  respect- 
ing the  French  living  and  manners.  We  were  eight  at 
table ;  six  officers  were  invited,  some  of  them  were  from 
the  two  war  brigs  at  anchor  beside  the  frigate.  I  was 
agreeably  surprised  when  the  commander  began  to 
speak  to  me  in  English,  and  I  could  not  help  saying 
that  he  had  no  need  of  an  interpreter.  "  Oh !  you  flatter 
me ;  I  am  quite  at  a  loss  sometimes  for  words ;  besides, 
it  is  a  good  lesson  for  me  to  hear  your  countryman, 
Brown,  translating  into  English  what  I  tell  him  in 
French.  I  have  great  confidence  in  him ;  he  is  well- 
behaved,  and  much  liked  on  board  this  vessel."  I  was 
very  glad  to  hear  this  good  account  of  Brown. 

The  commodore  told  me  he  had  been  a  prisoner  of 
war  in  England,  and  he  seemed  well  versed  in  politics. 
and  knew  a  great  deal  about  the  history  of  English 
statesmen,  particularly  that  of  Fox,  Sheridan  and  Pitt. 
I  spent  a  most  agreeable  hour  at  this  breakfast  table, 
and  after  the  coffee  and  liqueurs  were  served,  the  com- 
modore conducted  me  to  the  little  vessel  which  was 
ready  to  sail  for  Bordeaux;  he  introduced  me  to  the 
officer  who  had  the  command  of  it,  and  then  took  his 
leave  of  me  in  an  affectionate  manner,  as  if  we  had  been 
old  friends.  The  wind  being  favourable,  the  little  vessel 
was  under  full  sail  and  steered  off.  In  a  very  short 
time  we  lost  sight  of  the  squadron.  However,  we  had 
to  pass  the  night  on  the  river,  and  only  reached  Bor- 
deaux in  the  morning  at  half  past  eight  o'clock,  when 
the  officer  conducted  me  in  a  coach  to  the  prison.  There 
I  got  a  messenger  and  sent  a  note  by  him  to  Mr.  Hugh 


Wilson,  the  intimate  friend  of  the  Messieurs  Emmet, 
praying  him  to  come  and  see  me  immediately.  Mr. 
Wilson  being  engaged  in  business  in  a  mercantile  house 
and  very  busy  at  the  time,  sent  me  his  great  friend  and 
fellow  prisoner  in  Dublin,  Mr.  Thomas  Markey,  by 
whom  he  wrote  in  answer  to  my  note,  to  say  that  he 
could  not  be  with  me  before  two  o'clock,  but  that  I 
might  place  every  confidence  in  his  friend  Markey,  who 
would  do  everything  for  me  till  he  could  come  himself. 
After  I  read  Mr.  Wilson's  answer  to  me,  Mr.  Markey  and 
I  shook  hands  most  cordially;  but  he  was  extremely 
displeased  to  see  in  my  room  a  county  of  Cork  man  of 
the  name  of  O'Finn  who  resided  in  Bordeaux,  and  said 
at  once :  "  O'Finn,  you  are  very  wrong  to  intrude  your- 
self on  this  gentleman  to  whom  you  have  no  introduc- 
tion ;  you  may  see  he  has  no  want  of  your  services." 
On  which  O'Finn  went  away.  Markey  was  anxious  to 
know  what  O'Finn  had  been  telling  me,  to  which  I 
readily  replied,  that  he  had  only  been  a  few  minutes 
with  me,  that  he  told  me  he  was  on  the  quay  when  I 
landed,  and  seeing  that  I  had  no  luggage  he  came  to 
•offer  me  his  services,  that  he  would  send  me  shirts  and 
everything  else  I  stood  in  need  of;  remarking  at  the 
same  time,  he  was  sure  they  would  fit  me,  as  we  were 
about  the  same  size.  He  was  very  well  dressed  in 
black,  with  crape  on  his  hat.  And  he  observed  to  me 
that  he  was  the  only  Irishman  at  Bordeaux  who  had  had 
the  spirit  to  go  in  mourning  for  General  Napper  Tandy, 
who  died  a  short  time  before  in  that  town.  Markey 
merely  remarked  that  O'Finn  should  not  have  boasted 
of  his  intimacy  with  poor  Tandy,  the  Irish  refugees  not 
regarding  him  (O'Finn)  as  one  of  themselves ;  for  he 
had  not  left  Ireland  on  account  of  politics. 

Mr.  Markey  left  me,  after  ordering  the  jailer  to  get  me 
some  breakfast.  He  soon  returned  to  tell  me,  that  Mr. 
Hugh  Wilson  had  been  to  wait  on  the  commissary 


general  of  police,  M.  Berriere,  who  was  a  great  friend 
to  the  Irish  patriots,  to  beg  of  him  to  have  me  sent  off 
forthwith  to  Paris.  This  gentleman  had  a  large  dinner 
party  at  his  villa,  or  country  house,  just  near  the  town, 
and  to  which  several  Irish  were  invited.  He  told  Mr. 
Wilson  he  would  send  his  carriage  for  me  to  the  prison 
at  three  o'clock  to  bring  me  out  to  dinner.  Both  Markey 
and  Wilson  were  with  me  in  the  prison  when  the  order 
and  the  carriage  came  to  the  door.  They  availed  them- 
selves of  the  carriage  and  accompanied  me  to  the  com- 
missary general's  house,  where  I  met  other  worthy  Irish 
patriots,  such  as  Mr.  Pat  MacCann,  Hugh  Kelleher, 
young  Hampden  Evans,  etc.  I  spent  a  delightful  day 
with  them  at  the  commissary  general's  villa.  As  this 
gentleman  only  invited  me  out  to  dinner,  he  wrote  to 
the  maritime  prefect  to  know  if  I  should  be  sent  back 
to  prison.  He  got  an  answer  to  his  letter  whilst  we 
were  still  at  table,  the  purport  of  which  was,  that  I  was 
not  to  be  sent  back,  that  I  was  at  his,  the  commissary's 
disposition,  who,  he  hoped,  would  have  me  sent  to  Paris 
without  delay,  as  he  had  reported  to  the  Government 
all  the  circumstances  concerning  me,  from  the  time  I  was 
received  on  board  the  French  squadron  at  the  mouth  of 
the  river.  Mr.  MacCann  had  a  room  prepared  for  me  at 
his  house  on  the  quay,  where  I  slept  in  a  clean  bed,  for 
the  first  time  since  I  left  Dublin. 

I  intended  to  set  off  in  the  morning  for  Paris,  but 
young  Evans,  who  was  to  accompany  me,  had  friends 
engaged  for  dinner  on  that  day,  Saturday.  So  I  had  to 
pass  another  cheerful  day  with  the  true  Irish  patriots, 
Hugh  Wilson,  Thomas  Markey,  etc. 

Next  morning,  Sunday,  I  started  for  Paris.  The 
coach  in  which  I  went,  set  out  from  the  opposite  side  of 
the  river.  Hampden  Evans'  guests  of  the  day  before, 
crossed  the  river,  and  we  breakfasted  together  and  they 
saw  us  into  the  coach  and  bade  us  farewell.  I  might 


have  travelled  at  the  expense  of  the  Government,  but  it 
was  considered  more  respectable  for  me  to  pay  my  own 
place  and  expenses,  than  for  Government  to  be  answer- 
able for  them. 

Mr.  Wilson  told  me  that  he  wrote  to  Mr.  Thomas 
Addis  Emmet  the  morning  I  landed  in  Bordeaux,  and 
that  he  should  now  write  to  him  again,  to  let  him  know 
the  day  and  hour  I  should  arrive  in  Paris.  Mr.  Evans, 
speaking  French  well,  made  the  journey  very  pleasant ; 
otherwise  it  might  have  been  dull  enough  to  be  shut  up 
for  four  nights  and  five  days  in  a  coach  before  we 
reached  Paris.  It  would  have  been  particularly  so  to 
me,  who  thought  every  minute  an  hour  till  my  mission 
was  terminated,  thinking  then  that  assistance  would  be 
obtained  from  the  French  Government  by  Mr.  Emmet. 

We  arrived  at  the  coach-office,  Rue  Montmartre,  at 
three  o'clock,  p.m.,  where  we  met  Doctor  MacNeven  and 
Adjutant-General  Dalton ;  this  officer  belonged  to  the 
staff  of  the  minister-of-war,  General  Berthier,  who  sent 
him  to  receive  me  at  the  diligence  office.  His  coach 
being  ready,  he  made  the  conductor  of  the  diligence  get 
into  it,  with  himself,  Doctor  MacNeven  and  me. 
Hampden  Evans  remained  to  look  after  his  luggage,  and 
as  I  had  none,  General  Dalton  ordered  his  coachman  to 
drive  to  the  Grand  Judge  Regnier's  Hotel,  Place  Ven- 
dome,  in  whose  study  Mr.  Thomas  Addis  Emmet  was 
waiting  our  arrival.  On  being  asked  by  the  minister 
if  he  knew  me,  Mr.  Emmet  replied,  he  had  never  seen 
me  before.  The  grand  judge  then  handed  to  him  a 
paper  containing  the  impression  of  the  seal-ring  which 
I  had  been  the  bearer  of  from  his  brother  Robert  Emmet, 
and  which  the  commodore  commanding  the  squadron 
at  the  mouth  of  the  river  at  Bordeaux  thought  proper 
to  take  from  me,  and  have  forwarded  to  his  Government, 
after  I  had  written  my  name  on  the  back  of  the  paper 
on  which  the  impression  was  made. 


As  soon  as  Mr.  Emmet  had  compared  this  impression 
with  his  own  seal-ring,  he  crossed  the  room,  took  me  in 
his  arms  and  embraced  me  with  affection.  The  Grand 
Judge  witnessing  this,  seemed  quite  satisfied.  He  then 
told  Mr.  Emmet  that  the  First  Consul  required  from 
him,  as  soon  as  possible,  a  detailed  report  on  the  present 
state  of  Ireland,  and  that  it  would  be  well  if  this  docu- 
ment were  furnished  next  morning  early.  A  carte  de 
sArete  being  then  handed  to  me,  we  all  retired  from  the 
Grand  Judge's  hotel.  I,  a  freeman,  going  with  Mr. 
Emmet  to  his  lodgings,  Rue  du  Cherche-Midi,  where  he 
presented  me  to  his  lady  and  children.  We  then  went 
and  hired  a  small  cheap  room  for  me,  Petite  Rue  du 
Bac,  quite  near  his  house.  Doctor  MacNeven  was  to 
dine  with  us,  and  immediately  after  dinner  we 
three  retired  to  Mr.  Emmet's  study,  to  com- 
mence the  report  required  by  the  First  Consul : 
Doctor  MacNeven  writing  with  great  facility,  and  I 
explaining  and  answering  the  best  way  I  could,  all  their 
queries  about  men  and  things  in  Ireland.  A  rough 
•draft  was  soon  drawn  up :  Mr.  Emmet  having  been 
lately  chosen  by  the  Irish  refugees  in  France  to  repre- 
sent them  with  the  First  Consul,  he  was  the  more 
anxious  to  have  this  document  carefully  made  out,  and 
as  it  was  to  be  copied  in  the  morning  we  retired  each  to 
bed  late  at  night 

And  now  this  account  of  my  mission  being  ended,  I 
must  say  before  concluding  this  chapter,  that  I  shall  ever 
feel  proud  of  the  part  I  took  with  the  lamented  Robert 
Emmet.  I  have  often  asked  myself,  how  could  I  have 
acted  otherwise,  seeing  all  his  views  and  plans  for  the 
independence  of  my  country  so  much  superior  to  any- 
thing ever  imagined  before  on  the  subject  ?  They  were 
only  frustrated  by  accident  and  the  explosion  of  a  depot, 
and  as  I  have  always  said,  whenever  Irishmen  think  of 
obtaining  freedom,  Robert  Emmet's  plans  will  be  their 


best  guide.  First,  take  the  capital,  and  then  the  pro- 
vinces will  burst  out  and  raise  the  same  standard 

The  consciousness  that  I  had  executed  to  the  best  of 
my  abilities  everything  I  undertook  to  perform,  and  the 
hope  that  I  should  soon  be  returning  to  my  unfortunate 
country  served  to  cheer  my  spirits ;  otherwise  I  should 
have  been  sad  indeed 


I  MENTIONED  in  the  first  volume1  that  Mr.  Emmet  had 
hired  a  room  for  me  in  the  Petite  Rue  du  Bac.  It  was  a 
mere  closet,  but  it  was  all  I  wanted :  as  it  was  near  his 
house,  I  felt  it  a  great  consolation  that  I  could  be  with 
him  every  day,  and  continue  to  furnish  him  with  still 
further  particulars  about  unhappy  Ireland ;  hoping  too, 
that  from  his  influence  with  the  French  Government,  we 
should  ere  long  obtain  assistance  for  my  beloved  coun- 
try. In  consequence  of  this,  I  was  happier  than  might 
have  been  expected  under  such  circumstances ;  but, 
alas!  this  happiness  was  of  short  duration,  for  Mr. 
Emmet,  on  learning  the  final  and  fatal  news  about  his 
lamented  brother  Robert,  left  Paris  with  his  family, 
and  went  to  reside  at  Saint  Germaine-en-Laye,  that  is, 
in  a  country  house  he  took  in  that  neighbourhood. 
Then  my  miserable  closet  became  irksome  to  me  and 
had  no  further  attraction,  Mr.  Emmet  being  out  of 

The  same  newspapers  which  brought  the  afflicting 
intelligence  of  the  trial  and  execution  of  the  ever-to-be- 
lamented  Robert  Emmet,  contained  a  long  list  of 
"  State  "  prisoners,  waiting  their  turn  to  be  tried  and 
executed;  amongst  them  were  the  names  of  my  dear 

1  The  Memoirs  originally  appeared  as  three  volumes,  of  which 
the  first  has  been  reprinted  in  the  foregoing  pages.  Miles  Byrne 
considered  it  wise  to  defer  the  narration  of  his  first  experiences 
in  Paris  to  the  third  volume,  making  the  second  purely  an  account 
of  the  formation  and  campaigns  of  the  Irish  Legion  in  the  service 
of  France.  I  have  departed  from  this  arrangement  so  far  as  to 
transfer  to  this  place  a  few  pages  which  make  the  story  of  Byrne's 
life  continuous,  by  telling  how  he  passed  his  time  from  August 
till  December,  1803,  when  he  started  for  Morlaix  to  join  the  Legion. 


brother,  Edward  Kennedy,  and  my  valued  friend,  Philip 
Long.  These  sad  tidings  were  overwhelming  indeed,  as 
from  a  merciless  judge,  thirsting  for  blood,  like  Norbury, 
and  a  packed  jury,  no  justice  could  be  expected.  I 
therefore  considered  my  dear  brother  and  Phil  Long  as 
already  sacrificed.  The  execution  of  Felix  Rourke, 
Denis  Redmond,  Macintosh,  and  his  brother-in-law, 
young  Keernan,  appeared  in  the  newspapers  also. 
Shortly  afterwards  I  heard  of  the  trial  and  execution  of 
the  brave  and  virtuous  patriot  Thomas  Russell.  This 
heroic  martyr  to  his  country's  freedom,  left  his  niece, 
Mrs.  Hamilton,  at  Paris,  when  he  set  out  for  Ireland. 
I  went  to  see  this  unhappy  lady  in  her  cruel  distress ; 
she  feared  every  moment  she  should  hear  of  the  arrest 
and  execution  of  her  husband,  Mr.  W.  Hamilton,  also, 
he  having  accompanied  her  uncle  from  Paris  to  Dublin, 
and  from  thence  to  the  north  of  Ireland. 

I  was  sitting  one  day  in  my  lonely  closet,  reflecting  on 
all  these  sorrowful  tidings  from  Ireland,  and  of  my  own 
melancholy  prospects,  when  I  received  the  kind  visit  of 
Valentine  Derry,  brother  of  the  Catholic  Bishop  of 
Down,  in  Ireland,  and  the  friend  of  the  unfortunate 
Father  O'Coigly.  He  stood  by  him  at  his  trial  at  Maid- 
stone,  and  in  his  last  moments  on  the  scaffold,  and  for 
this  he  had  to  fly  his  country  and  escape  to  France, 
where  he  obtained  the  situation  of  Professor  of  English 
at  the  Military  College  of  La  Fleche.  It  being  vacation 
time,  Mr.  Derry  came  to  spend  it  amongst  his  friends 
and  acquaintances  at  Paris,  fortunately  for  me,  as  he 
soon  put  me  in  a  way  to  live  in  the  cheapest  manner 
possible.  That  same  day  we  went  to  dine  together  at  a 
"  traiteur's  "  in  the  Rue  de  la  Harpe ;  the  traiteur  was 
a  Mr.  Moreau  and  he  and  his  wife  kept  a  restaurant, 
much  frequented  by  the  young  students.  Our  dinner 
consisted  of  two  dishes :  mouton  an,  navet,  six  sous ;  a 
small  beefsteak,  seven  sous;  a  quarter  of  a  bottle  of 



wine,  two  sous  and  a  half ;  plenty  of  bread,  two  sous ; 
water  at  discretion.  The  meat  was  tolerably  good,  and 
as  M.  Moreau  was  a  capital  cook,  everything  was  well 
prepared,  and  the  dinner  varied  each  day.  I  took  a 
room  on  the  second  storey,  with  two  windows  looking 
out  on  the  street,  for  twelve  francs  a  month,  the  price  I 
gave  for  the  miserable  closet  I  had  left  in  the  Petite  Rue 
du  Bac.  Mr.  Derry  having  lodged  with  M.  et  Madame 
Moreau  before  he  got  his  appointment  at  the  college  of 
La  Fleche,  they  were  well  disposed  to  be  obliging  and 
to  follow  his  instructions  respecting  the  way  I  wished  to 
live.  Every  morning  at  nine  o'clock,  two  sous'  worth  of 
boiled  milk  was  brought  to  my  room,  with  a  three  sous 
loaf  of  bread.  This  loaf  sufficed  for  breakfast  and 
dinner,  so  my  two  meals  cost  about  eleven  pence  per 
day,  or  twenty-two  sous ;  I  dined  between  four  and  five 
o'clock,  the  student's  hour.  I  only  paid  my  bill  at  the 
end  of  the  week,  when  Madame  Moreau  furnished  me 
with  a  short  note,  signed  "  pour  acquit,  femme  Moreau." 
As  I  dined  often  with  friends  in  town,  this  note  seldom 
amounted  to  more  than  six  francs.  Mr.  Derry  told  me 
the  Irish  refugees,  with  few  exceptions,  were  living  in 
this  frugal  way,  endeavouring  to  make  their  money  last, 
as  I  was  doing,  and  thus  conforming  myself  to  follow 
the  example  of  those  brave  Irish  patriots,  who  enjoyed 
opulence  and  happiness,  before  they  had  to  fly  their 
country  to  take  refuge  in  France.  It  was  not  a  difficult 
matter  for  me,  I  having  known  the  starvation  suffered  in 
the  mountains  of  the  County  of  Wicklow  in  1/98.  Be- 
sides, those  of  my  friends  from  whom  I  might  have  ex- 
pected a  remittance,  were  now  closely  lodged  in  the 
Dublin  jails,  so  I  had  no  alternative  left  but  to  live  11 
the  cheapest  manner  possible. 

Mr.  Deny  was  also  very  useful  to  me  in  assisting  me 
to  learn  French.  He  introduced  me  to  a  French  gentle- 
man of  the  name  of  Lesage,  who  had  spent  twenty 


years  in  England  as  Professor  of  French,  and  he  was 
now  teaching  English  in  Paris ;  he  had  so  much  to  do 
that  I  could  only  get  two  lessons  from  him  in  the  week, 
and  at  night ;  his  brother  was  one  of  the  Professors  at 
the  College  of  La  Fleche.  Good  Mr.  Deny  had  to  return 
to  this  College,  vacation  being  over ;  I  felt  sorry  enough 
at  his  departure  from  Paris,  he  was  such  an  obliging, 
kind-hearted  man;  but  we  soon  met  again  at  Morlaix, 
in  the  Irish  legion,  in  which  he  had  first  the  rank  of 
lieutenant  and  afterwards  he  received  the  brevet  of 
captain.  Finding  there  was  no  great  likelihood  of 
an  expedition  to  Ireland,  he  resigned  his  commission 
and  went  to  America  in  1806.  He  established  an 
academy  at  New  York,  and  I  have  heard  he  succeeded, 
which  afforded  me  great  pleasure  to  learn.  Mr.  Deny 
was  learned,  and  a  good  French  scholar,  and  well  fitted 
to  be  at  the  head  of  such  an  institution.  He  was 
amiable  and  kind,  and  made  friends  wherever  he  went. 

It  was  now  the  first  of  October,  1803,  and  I  found  I 
could  go  on  for  two  or  three  months  still,  with  the  little 
money  I  had  remaining,  but  this  was  all  I  thought  that 
I  could  accomplish  in  the  way  of  living  cheap,  except  by 
too  much  privation.  I  hoped  and  trusted  that  in  the  in- 
terval some  happy  change  might  take  place.  I  therefore 
kept  up  my  spirits  and  went  about  seeing  sights.  That 
in  which  I  took  the  greatest  interest  then  was  the  rapid 
construction  of  the  flat-bottomed  boats  destined  to  be 
employed  in  invading  England.  The  quay,  from  the 
bridge  at  the  Place  de  la  Concorde,  down  the  river,  for 
more  than  a  mile  long,  was  a  complete  dock-yard  and 
arsenal,  and  every  day  I  could  see  some  of  these  small 
vessels  launched,  and  the  keels  of  others  put  on  the 
stocks  to  replace  them.  The  quickness  with  which  these 
vessels  were  constructed  and  got  ready  for  sailing  from 
Paris,  was  not  surprising,  as  the  First  Consul  himself 
frequently  inspected  the  dock-yards  and  works.  I  saw 


him  one  day  on  board  of  one  of  those  flat-bottomed 
vessels,  getting  her  rowed  up  and  down  the  river  by 
some  thirty  or  forty  sailors.  He  was  accompanied  by 
his  staff  officers  and  aides-de-camp.  The  vessel  was 
rigged  with  little  masts  and  sails.  I  could  not  well  dis- 
tinguish his  features,  being  too  far  off.  A  few  days  be- 
fore, I  saw  him  at  the  balcony  of  the  Tuileries,  but  also 
imperfectly,  as  the  crowd  was  too  dense  in  the  gardens, 
it  being  the  fete  of  the  Republican  new  year,  the  first  of 
Vendemiaire,  or  the  2ist  of  September.  However,  I  was 
more  fortunate  some  time  after.  One  Sunday  morning, 
I  met  on  the  Pont-Royal,  Mr.  Moriarty,  a  Cork  gentle- 
man, a  friend  of  Mr.  Emmet ;  he  told  me  the  First  Con- 
sul Buonaparte  had  just  passed  the  review  of  the  guards 
and  returned  to  the  palace,  accompanied  by  the  Second 
and  Third  Consuls,  Cambaceres  and  Le  Brun,  and  that 
he  would  see  these  gentlemen  downstairs  to  their  car- 
riages when  going  away.  Mr.  Moriarty  had  the  kindness 
to  return  with  me  to  the  palace,  and  to  speak  to  the 
officer  commanding  the  guard  at  the  bottom  of  the  great 
stairs.  After  I  had  shown  my  "carte  de  surete,"  he 
placed  me  in  the  best  manner  to  have  a  good  view,  and 
I  had  only  to  wait  about  ten  minutes  when  I 
saw  the  conquering  hero  descending  the  great  stair, 
slowly  and  in  deep  conversation  with  the  two  other 
Consuls;  and  as  I  had  seen  those  gentlemen  often  be- 
fore, particularly  Cambaceres,  my  attention  was  entirely 
drawn  to  gaze  alone  on  the  young  officer  of  whose 
military  exploits  I  had  been  so  accustomed  to  hear,  and 
his  presence  brought  to  my  recollection  the  happy  days 
when  we  used  to  read  at  the  chapel  the  newspapers 
giving  an  account  of  his  brilliant  campaigns  from  1795 
down  to  the  peace  of  Campo  Formic,  October  1797. 
(After  the  insurrection  of  '98,  I  could  not  attend  these 
chapels.)  After  seeing  his  two  colleagues  to  their  car- 
riages, the  First  Consul  returned  quickly;  he  bade  the 


officer  make  the  men  of  the  guard,  who  remained  with 
presented  arms,  carry  them,  after  which  he  ran  up-stairs 
like  a  young  school-boy.  What  struck  me  was  that 
though  he  was  sallow  and  pale,  he  was  stout  and  well- 
proportioned,  resembling  much  the  portraits  given  of 
him  at  that  time.  I  was  pleased  to  have  seen  him  so 
well,  and  went  away  satisfied  and  convinced  that  ere  long 
some  assistance  would  be  obtained  for  Ireland,  Mr. 
Emmet  having  recently  got  encouraging  promises  on  the 

When  I  arrived  at  Paris,  I  should  immediately  have 
waited  on  Mr.  Arthur  O'Connor,  had  I  not  heard  that  he 
and  Mr.  Thomas  Addis  Emmet  were  on  the  worst  terms ; 
circumstanced  as  I  was  with  the  latter,  I  could  not  think 
of  becoming  acquainted  with  his  enemy.  No  one,  how- 
ever, regretted  more  than  I  did  to  learn  that  two  such 
men  should  not  be  on  speaking  terms  with  each  other — 
they,  whom  my  countrymen  at  home  looked  upon  as 
their  most  strenuous  agents  with  the  French  Govern- 
ment, and  as  consulting  with  one  another  at  every 
moment  to  see  what  was  best  to  be  done.  I  enquired  of 
my  friend,  Hugh  Ware,  who  had  spent  a  long  time  in 
prison  with  Messrs.  O'Connor  and  Emmet,  to  know  the 
cause  of  their  dispute.  He  told  me  he  could  never  ascer- 
tain it,  but  that  he  believed  it  was  nothing  political ;  that 
he  himself  had  endeavoured  to  reconcile  these  gentle- 
men, but  found  it  impossible.  Their  misunderstanding 
must,  indeed,  have  been  of  a  very  serious  nature,  for 
Hugh  Ware  was  a  real  peacemaker,  and  no  officer  I  ever 
knew  prevented  more  duels  than  he  did. 

This  unfortunate  misunderstanding  between  two  of 
the  principal  Irish  leaders  produced  at  this  important 
moment  the  worst  effect,  as  it  showed  clearly  to  the 
French  Government  that  already  the  Irish  refugees 
could  not  agree  amongst  themselves  abroad ;  conse- 
quently it  might  be  still  worse  when  in  their  own  country. 


The  French  Government  wished  to  arrange  this 
matter  through  the  medium  of  General  Augereau,  whom 
the  Irish  expected  would  have  the  command  of  the 
French  army  destined  to  set  them  free.  Even  this  great 
soldier  failed  to  make  Messrs.  Emmet  and  O'Connor 
forget  their  differences,  for  the  good  of  their  common 
country;  probably  they  thought  it  of  no  consequence, 
but  many  of  us  exiles  felt  grieved  at  the  bad  result 
which  this  protracted  misunderstanding  would  create ; 
every  day  I  could  hear  something  on  the  subject  dis- 
cussed at  the  London  coffee-house  in  the  Rue  Jacob, 
then  much  frequented  by  the  Irish  on  account  of  the 
Argus  newspaper  being  taken  there,  which  paper  was 
published  in  English  by  the  famous  Goldsmith.1  It  was 
in  that  newspaper  that  I  read  all  the  sad  tidings  of  my 
dear  friends  in  Ireland. 

During  the  months  of  September,  October,  and 
November,  in  1803,  my  daily  occupation  was  learning 
French.  I  thought  I  was  not  making  much  progress ; 
however,  Dr.  MacNeven  encouraged  me,  and  bade  me 
persevere.  He  advised  me  never  to  go  out  to  walk  with- 
out my  grammar  or  vocabulary,  and  to  take  care  that 
before  I  returned,  I  should  have  learned  some  new 
words.  I  followed  his  advice,  and  it  was  excellent. 
No  matter  what  direction  I  intended  to  walk  in,  before 
setting  out,  I  wished  always  to  call  at  the  London  coffee- 
house, in  the  Rue  Jacob,  where  I  was  sure  to  learn  some 
news  about  Ireland 

One  morning,  passing  early  there,  I  saw  Madame 
Lecomte  behind  her  counter  and  only  one  man  in  the 
coffee-house,  and  this  gentleman  had  a  pile  of  old  news- 
papers on  the  table  before  him.  Madame  Lecomte  told 
me  that  the  Argus  English  newspaper  had  not  arrived. 
At  the  same  time,  addressing  the  gentleman  who  was 

1  Not,  of  course,  Oliver.     (Ed.) 


busy  reading,  she  said :  "  Mr  Sweeny,  this  is  the  Mr. 
Byrne  I  was  telling  you  of."  On  which  he  came  and 
shook  hands  with  me,  saying :  "  I  have  just  arrived  after 
a  long  journey ;  Mr.  Gallagher,  whom  I  have  just  seen, 
gave  me  your  address."  We  then  left  the  coffee-house 
together,  bidding  Madame  Lecomte  good  morning.  He 
going  a  few  doors  further  off  to  the  Hotel  d'Espagne,  I 
accompanied  him,  when  he  began  to  tell  me  all  about 
his  fortunate  escape  from  Ireland.  He  had  gone  to  Cork 
for  the  purpose  of  co-operating  in  the  intended  rising 
organized  by  Robert  Emmet,  but  hearing  of  its  failure 
at  Dublin,  he  had  to  conceal  himself  the  best  way  he 
could,  and  wait  for  some  opportunity  to  get  back  to 
France.  At  length  a  fishing  smack  was  procured  at  vast 
expense,  and  it  landed  him  on  the  coast  of  France,  when 
he  immediately  posted  to  Paris.  He  had  not  shaved 
himself  from  the  time  he  left  Ireland,  and  of  course  his 
beard  was  very  long,  and  being  very  black,  he  had  quite 
a  martial  air.  He  was  a  very  fine-looking  man,  about 
thirty-two  years  of  age,  and  he  had  the  most  beautiful 
teeth  I  ever  saw  in  a  man.  John  Sweeny  was  the  great 
friend  of  Thomas  Addis  Emmet.  They  were  fellow 
prisoners  at  Dublin  and  at  Fort  George  in  ScotlanB. 
He  was  one  of  those  Irish  patriots  who  had  to  exile 
themselves  for  ever  from  the  land  of  their  birth,  in  order 
to  get  out  of  confinement,  at  the  peace  of  Amiens. 

Mr.  Sweeny  went  afterwards  to  lodge  in  the  Rue  de  la 
Loi  (now  Rue  Richelieu)  along  with  William  Lawless. 
We  met  frequently,  and  I  felt  great  pleasure  in  talking 
with  him  on  Irish  matters.  Our  feelings  and  opinions 
perfectly  coincided  on  them.  He  was  a  captain  after- 
wards in  the  Irish  legion,  but  his  military  career  was 
short,  for  he  resigned  his  commission  after  his  unfortu- 
nate dispute  and  duel  with  Captain  Thomas  Corbet,  in 
1804.  In  that  duel  they  were  both  wounded,  but  Corbet 
only  survived  his  wound  a  few  hours.  Sweeny  went  to 


live  at  Morlaix.  He  married  there  a  lady  who  was  re- 
lated to  the  family  of  General  Moreau's  wife. 

With  Hugh  Ware  I  was  at  once  on  the  most  intimate 
terms.  In  our  long  walks  we  had  always  much  to  say 
about  the  fighting  in  1798.  Our  sympathies  on  that 
score,  as  indeed  on  almost  everything  else,  were  alike, 
and  a  friendship  commenced  between  us  in  Paris,  whicn 
augmented  in  campaign,  and  on  the  battle-field,  and 
never  ceased  afterwards.  Ware's  first  cousin,  Joseph 
Parrott,  who  accompanied  him  to  France,  and  who  had 
shared  with  him  in  all  the  dangers  of  the  insurrection, 
was  without  exception  one  of  the  most  brave  and  honour- 
able officers  that  could  be.  Their  means  of  living,  like 
my  own,  being  limited,  we  easily  agreed  on  the  way  to 
spend  our  evenings.  We  generally  met  and  walked  in 
the  Galerie  de  Bois  in  the  Palais-Royal,  where  we  met 
ofher  exiles  and  heard  all  the  news  of  the  day. 

I  frequently  met  William  Lawless,  but  had  scracely 
ever  any  conversation  with  him ;  his  manner  appeared 
to  me  rather  cold  and  distant.  Of  course,  I  was  the  more 
surprised  one  day  when  he  called  on  me  at  my  lodgings 
in  the  Rue  de  la  Harpe,  and  said  to  me :  "  Mr.  Byrne, 
you  must  not  be  displeased  if  I  speak  to  you  on  a  very 
serious  subject.  I  understand  you  are  not  living  as  you 
should.  I  have  therefore  called  on  you  to  say  that  I  can 
lend  you  money,  because  I  know  where  to  apply  to  get 
more  when  my  stock  is  finished,  which  probably  you  may 
not."  I,  of  course,  thanked  him  in  the  most  grateful 
manner,  and  told  him  I  had  still  sufficient  for  another 
month.  "  Yes,"  he  replied,  "  but  you  must  not  starve 
yourself."  We  then  took  a  long  walk  together  and  met 
Ur.  MacNeven  in  the  evening  by  appointment.  We 
dined  together  and  went  to  the  play  to  see  Brunet  at 
the  Varietes. 

It  was  the  first  time  I  had  been  in  a  French  theatre, 


and  indeed,  I  felt  quite  proud  at  being  able  to  understand 
this  wonderful  comic  actor  in  Jocrisse.  When  he 
stumbled  in  crossing  the  stage,  carrying  the  buffet,  and 
broke  the  plates,  etc.,  I  got  into  a  great  tit  of  laughter, 
which  pleased  both  Lawless  and  MacNeven,  as  they 
thought  I  was  too  melancholy,  and  they  were  glad  to 
see  me  so  much  delighted  with  the  play.  I  felt  very 
grateful  to  these  worthy  patriots  for  their  attention  to 
me  at  that  time.  It  was  doubly  agreeable  to  me  when 
Mr.  Emmet  was  in  the  country,  away  from  Paris.  I 
then  could  see  how  wrong  it  is  to  judge  of  men  too 
hastily  and  on  a  short  acquaintance.  William  Lawless, 
instead  of  being  cold  and  distant,  was  the  most  agree- 
able, kind,  companionable  man  possible ;  highly  edu- 
cated, well  versed  in  almost  every  branch  of  science, 
speaking  fluently  and  well  both  French  and  English; 
in  short,  had  his  country  obtained  her  freedom,  he  would 
have  shone  in  her  Senate  as  a  first-rate  orator.  I  had 
no  introduction  to  Mr.  Lawless,  though  I  knew  his 
nephew,  John  Lawless,  from  whom  I  might  have  had 
one  before  I  left  Dublin,  had  I  not  been  hurried  away. 
I  therefore  felt  his  generous  offer  to  lend  me  money  in 
a  foreign  country  the  more  warmly.  Our  friendship 
ceased  not  but  with  death,  and  I  must  ever  remember 
him  with  gratitude  and  affection  for  his  conduct  on  that 
occasion.  As  to  my  advancement  in  the  French  army, 
it  so  happened  that  General  Lawless  did  not  do  any- 
thing to  promote  it  when  he  was  colonel  of  the  Irish 
regiment  in  1813.  In  1 808  I  was  a  captain,  and  William 
Lawless  was  still  a  captain.  He,  however,  regretted 
much  that  I  did  not  get  my  brevet  as  superior  officer  at 
the  same  time  John  Allen  and  Terence  O'Reilly  got 
theirs,  viz.  in  1814,  previous  to  JNapoleon's  abdication. 

Colonel  Lawless  lost  his  leg  on  the  2ist  of  August, 
1813,  when  Commandant  Ware  took  the  command  of 
the  regiment  as  senior  officer.  After  the  battle  of  Gold- 


berg,  two  days  later,  on  the  23rd  of  August,  Ware  was 
ordered  by  our  General  of  Division,  Puthod,  to  propose, 
or  make  a  memoir  of  propositions  to  obtain  promotion 
for  those  officers  whom  he  said  had  distinguished  them- 
selves under  his  command  during  the  campaign.  Several 
officers  and  non-commissioned  officers  were  carried  on 
the  proposition  for  the  decoration  of  the  Legion  of 
Honour.  We  were  four  captains,  proposed  for  the  rank 
of  field  officer  (chef  de  bataillon),  equivalent  to  lieu- 
tenant-colonel :  Saint  Leger,  Allen,  O'Reilly,  and  I. 

After  William  Lawless's  friendly  offer  and  kind  atten- 
tion to  me,  I  frequently  called  on  him,  and  always  found 
him  good  humoured  and  agreeable,  and  generally  occu- 
pied answering  letters.  He  sometimes  would  give  me 
one  to  read,  which  perhaps  he  had  just  received,  from 
Lord  Cloncurry  or  some  other  valued  patriot ;  and  from 
the  tenor  of  those  letters  and  his  answers  to  them,  I 
could  see  that  the  warmest  friendship  subsisted  between 
him  and  his  correspondents. 

In  my  visits  to  Mr.  Lawless,  or  to  Sweeny,  who  had 
an  apartment  in  the  same  hotel,  I  was  sure  to  meet  some 
of  the  Irish  exiles,  who  had  had  to  fly  from  home.  Pat 
Gallagher  was  one  of  them.  His  name  will  never  be 
forgotten  in  Dublin,  as  the  brave  and  faithful  body- 
guard to  the  ever-to-be-lamented  Lord  Edward  Fitz- 
gerald, who  had  been  obliged  to  change  frequently  his 
hiding  place,  from  house  to  house  in  the  Liberty,  in 
order  to  escape  the  police  of  the  Castle  hacks.  Gallagher 
was  always  one  of  the  most  determined  of  Lord 
Edward's  escort  when  changing  his  abode.  What  a 
misfortune  that  half-a-dozen  of  such  resolute  men  as 
Gallagher  were  not  placed  at  once  at  Murphy's  house  in 
Thomas-street  ?  They  would  have  saved  the  darling  of 
their  heart  and  Ireland's  glory,  and  would  have  escaped 
with  him  to  the  Wicklow  mountains.  Then  the  insur- 
rection would  not  have  been  deprived  of  the  enter- 


prising  experience  of  this  valiant  soldier,  whose  presence 
at  our  camp  in  the  commencement  would  have  been 
equal  to  a  great  army,  and  would  certainly  have  caused 
a  general  rising  of  the  patriots  throughout  Ireland,  and 
the  citizens  of  Dublin  would  have  been  saved  the  eternal 
disgrace  of  having  allowed  this  Irish  chieftain  to  be 
sacrificed,  without  making  the  least  effort  in  his  favour. 
But,  indeed,  the  only  excuse  for  them  is  that  they  were 
taken  by  surprise  and  not  prepared  for  the  event, 
though  I  am  sorry  to  say  that  I  met  in  Paris,  after  the 
restoration  of  the  Bourbons,  Dublin  Catholic  citizens, 
passing  themselves  off  as  patriots,  who  were  not  ashamed 
to  say  that  they  thought  the  infamous  Reynolds'  infor- 
mation a  fortunate  circumstance.  These  gentlemen  to 
be  sure  made  part  of  the  merchants  and  lawyers  corps 
of  yeomanry,  and  perhaps  prided  themselves  that  they 
escorted  Lord  Edward  to  prison. 

Our  conversation  being  a  private  one,  I  shall  not  men- 
tion their  names ;  but  an  Irish  Catholic  historian  was 
not  ashamed  to  give  his  own  opinion  in  1846  on  Robert 
Emmet's  unsuccessful  attempt  to  free  his  country  and 
get  rid  of  the  insolent  Protestant  ascendancy,  viz. :  "  I 
neither  attempt  to  justify  his  plans  in  1803,  nor  do  i 
regret  their  failure  ;  far  from  it.  I  believe  their  accom- 
plishment would  have  been  a  calamity."1  Surely,  if 
Lord  Edward  Fitzgerald  and  his  brave  companions,  the 
patriots  of  1798,  were  justifiable  in  seeking  aid  from  the 
French  Directory  to  shake  off  the  English  yoke,  Robert 
Emmet  must  have  been  doubly  justified  in  1803,  sur- 
rounded as  he  was  by  the  tried  patriots  of  the  time,  all 
of  whom  agreed  with  him  that  the  moment  was  pro- 
pitious, when  the  Irish  Catholic  serfs  had  their  chains 
closer  riveted  than  ever  since  the  detested  union  with 
Great  Britain,  and  the  loss  even  of  the  corrupt  Protestant 

1  See  The     United    Irishmen,   their   lives   and  times,   by   R.  R. 
Madden,  M.D.,  Vol.  iii.,  p.  287. 


Parliament,  which  left  them  no  hopes  of  redress.  Cer- 
tainly Robert  Emmet  had  every  reasonable  hope  of 
obtaining  assistance  from  the  First  Consul  Buonaparte, 
who  was  at  that  time  so  much  exasperated  against  Eng- 
land, on  account  of  her  recent  bad  faith  and  perfidious 
conduct  in  seizing  and  capturing  French  merchant  ves- 
sels before  any  declaration  of  war  after  the  Peace  of 
Amiens.  The  First  Consul  knew  well  that  Ireland  was 
the  weak  and  vulnerable  part  where  England  might  be 
overthrown,  and  that  the  Irish  were  ready  to  rise  en 
masse  as  soon  as  an  army  of  ten  thousand  French 
troops  were  landed ;  the  number  which  had  been  stipu- 
lated for  between  him  and  the  Irish  chiefs.  How  then 
could  any  Irish  Catholic  acquainted  with  these  circum- 
stances say  at  any  time  since  that  he  was  glad  that 
Robert  Emmet  did  not  succeed,  all  Catholic  Ireland 
being  at  that  period  ready  to  rise  the  moment  a  rallying 
point  offered — with  perhaps  the  exception  of  some  time- 
serving lord,  who  would  prefer  to  be  a  valet  at  the  Eng- 
lish Court  to  being  an  independent  senator  in  his  native 
land ;  or  those  timid  mercenary  would-be  historians  or 
book-makers,  to  enable  them  to  be  mean  place-beggars. 
They  numbered,  however,  very  few  in  Robert  Emmet's 
time,  because  as  Catholics  they  were  not  apt  to  fill 
situations  at  the  Castle  of  Dublin,  or  in  the  provinces. 

I  have  frequently  spoken  of  all  those  matters  already 
in  my  narrative ;  but  I  must  be  excused  now  if  I  repeat 
them  again,  in  writing  of  Lord  Edward's  steady  friend, 
Pat  Gallagher,  who,  at  the  formation  of  the  Irish  Legion 
in  1 803,  entered  it  at  the  same  time  I  did,  with  the  rank 
of  lieutenant.  He  soon  after  was  promoted  to  that  of 
captain,  but  in  1805,  seeing  no  prospect  of  an  expedition 
to  Ireland,  and  having  an  highly  accomplished  wife  and 
two  fine  children  to  provide  for,  he  resigned  his  commis- 
sion of  captain  and  retired  to  Bordeaux,  where  he  set  up 
as  a  ship  broker,  and  soon  began  an  extensive  business 


with  the  neutral  maritime  countries,  but  particularly  with 
the  Americans  of  the  United  States. 

Another  of  the  Irish  exiles  of  '98,  whom  I  was  sure  to 
meet  with  when  I  called  on  Mr.  Lawless,  was  John  Ten- 
nant,  brother  to  that  high-minded  patriot,  William  Ten- 
nant,  of  Belfast,  the  friend  and  fellow-prisoner  of  Arthur 
O'Connor  and  Thomas  Addis  Emmet.  John  Tennant, 
in  escaping  from  Ireland,  was  fortunate  enough  to  have 
had  a  sum  of  money  in  hand,  which  he  placed  advan- 
tageously in  the  French  funds,  and  the  interest  of  that 
money  quite  sufficed  for  all  his  expenses  at  Paris.  He 
might  have  resigned  his  rank  of  captain  also,  having  the 
means  of  living  independently,  but  he  preferred  remain- 
ing in  the  French  service,  in  order  to  perfect  himself  in 
the  military  profession,  that  he  might  be  the  better  able 
one  day  to  render  service  to  his  native  country ;  and 
having  made  the  memorable  campaign  of  1799  in  Hol- 
land, attached  to  the  staff  of  the  French  General-in- 
Chief,  Brune,  who  so  completely  defeated  the  Anglo- 
Russian  army  (commanded  by  that  bigoted,  drunken  sot, 
of  "  so  help  me  God "  notoriety,  the  Duke  of  York). 
Tennant  acquired  a  real  liking  and  taste  for  the  military 
profession,  and  his  bosom  friend,  Lawless,  who  had  made 
the  campaign  in  Holland  with  him,  was  equally  desirous 
of  seeing  real  military  campaigning  under  that  renowned 

The  military  career  of  those  two  distinguished  Irish 
patriots  began  and  ended  at  the  same  time.  They  were 
named  captains  the  same  day  in  1803  at  the  organiza- 
tion of  the  Irish  Legion.  In  1813,  at  Lowenberg,  in 
Silesia,  where  Lawless  was  colonel,  corrmanding  the 
Irish  regiment,  Tennant  was  chef  de  bataillon  (or  lieu- 
tenant-colonel commanding  the  first  battalion  of  the 
regiment.  On  the  igih  of  August,  1813,  Tennant  was 
killed  in  our  hollow  squarCj  literally  cut  in  two  by  a 
cannon  ball,  and  on  the  2 1st  of  August,  the  second  day 


after,  Colonel  Lawless,  at  the  passage  of  the  Bober,  at 
the  town  of  Lowenberg,  and  in  the  presence  of  Napo- 
leon, had  his  leg  shot  off  by  a  cannon  ball.  It  was  my 
painful  and  melancholy  duty  to  get  the  grenadiers  to  dig 
a  grave  for  poor  Tennant,  after  we  had  retaken  our 
position  and  beaten  the  enemy  off  the  field  of  battle,  on 
the  igth  of  August,  1813.  Whilst  the  men  were  pre- 
paring the  grave,  Colonel  Lawless  never  ceased  weeping, 
and  indeed  both  the  officers  and  men  who  were  present 
were  much  affected,  and  shed  tears  of  sorrow  over  poor 
Tennant's  grave.  On  the  2ist  I  had  the  affliction  to  see 
poor  Lawless  fall  off  his  horse,  and  to  get  six  grenadiers 
to  carry  him  on  a  door,  into  the  town  of  Lowenberg, 
where  the  baron  Larrey  performed  the  amputation  of 
his;  leg.  When  the  boot  was  cut  away,  and  that  he  saw 
plainly  the  desperate  wound,  he  exclaimed :  "  Ah !  my 
poor  wife  and  children!"  It  was  at  least  soothing  to 
him  at  the  moment  to  be  told  by  the  Emperor's  aide- 
de-camp,  when  he  came  by  order  to  see  him,  that  he 
would  be  General  of  Brigade,  and  Baron  of  the  Empire. 
Lawless  was  named  General  after  some  time,  but  he 
never  got  the  title  of  baron — the  Restoration  of  the 
Bourbons  put  a  stop  to  Napoleon's  promotions. 

Previous  to  going  into  campaign,  John  Tennant  willed 
the  little  property  he  had  to  his  daughter.  Richard 
MacCormick,  being  his  executor,  had  the  little  girl  edu- 
cated with  great  care  in  a  convent  at  Paris,  and  when  he 
was  allowed  to  return  from  exile,  he  took  his  lamented 
friend  Tennant's  daughter  with  him  to  Dublin,  where 
she  married  a  gentleman  of  the  name  of  Murray. 

There  was  great  excitement  and  joy  among  the  Irish 
exiles  in  November,  1803,  when  they  heard  of  the  march 
of  General  Augereau's  corps  of  army  from  the  frontiers 
of  Spain,  Bayonne,  to  be  encamped  near  Brest,  to  be 
ready  to  embark  for  Ireland.  Mr.  Thomas  Markey,  who 


was  following  the  staff  of  General  Augereau's  army, 
apprised  his  friends  of  its  rapid  march  from  the  Spanish 
frontiers  to  the  coast  at  Brest,  where  twenty-five  sail 
of  the  line,  with  transport  vessels  sufficient  to  embark 
thirty  thousand  troops,  were  lying  in  harbour.  Captain 
Murphy,  who  had  the  rank  of  grand  pilot  to  the  French 
Fleet  at  Brest,  received  orders  to  repair  there  without 
delay,  to  be  at  the  disposition  of  the  admiral  command- 
ing the  Fleet. 

All  this  indicated  to  us  that  an  expedition  on  a  great 
scale  would  soon  sail  for  Ireland,  and  at  the  same  time 
we  knew  that  Thomas  Addis  Emmet  and  Arthur  O'Con- 
nor had  stipulated  with  the  First  Consul  many  things 
respecting  Ireland,  when  a  French  army  should  be  landed 
there.  First,  it  was  to  be  considered  as  an  auxiliary  one, 
as  the  French  army  in  the  United  States  under  General 
Rochambeau  was.  Then  it  should  be  guaranteed  that 
in  any  treaty  of  Peace  between  France  and  England,  the 
independence  of  Ireland  should  be  maintained,  etc.  Ten 
thousand  troops,  with  twenty  thousand  stand  of  arms, 
was  all  that  the  Irish  chiefs  required  to  be  landed  to 
accomplish  their  ends,  and  one  day  at  Saint  Cloud,  the 
First  Consul  said  to  Augereau,  in  the  presence  of 
Arthur  O'Connor :  "  General,  remember  you  are  to  be 
with  your  army  in  Ireland,  as  General  Rochambeau  was 
in  America.  You  will  receive  and  execute  the  orders  of 
the  Irish  Government,  etc."1 

1 M.  Thiers,  though  not  very  impartial  or  explicit  about  the 
negotiations  carried  on  between  the  French  Government  and  the 
Irish  independent  leaders,  still  allows  that  they  obtained  terms 
from  the  French  Ministers,  which  the  First  Consul  confirmed. 
In  his  History  of  the  Consulate  and  Empire,  Vol.  iv.,  p.  467,  M. 
Thiers  says:  "The  minister  D6cres  had  conferred  with  the  Irish 
refugees,  who  had  already  tried  to  separate  their  country  from 
England.  They  promised  a  general  rising,  in  the  event  of  18,000 
French  troops  landing,  with  the  materials  of  war  complete,  and 
a  great  quantity  of  arms.  They  stipulated  also,  as  the  price  of 
their  efforts,  that  France  should  make  no  peace  without  exacting 
the  independence  of  Ireland.  The  First  Consul  consented  to  all 
these  demands,  on  condition  that  a  body  of  twenty  thousand 


At  the  end  of  November,  1803,  our  excitement  was 
greater  than  ever,  thinking  of  scarcely  anything  except 
the  study  of  military  tactics,  and  expecting  hourly  to 
receive  our  brevets.  I  had  bought,  when  I  arrived  at 
Paris,  the  reglement  or  ordonnance  on  the  exercise  and 
manoeuvres  of  infantry,  and  I  began  to  know  tolerably 
well  the  theory;  and  as  I  had  some  practice  in  Ireland 
in  fighting  against  regular  troops,  I  felt  satisfied  I  could 
make  my  way  like  other  officers. 

At  length  the  First  Consul's  decree  appeared  to  have 
an  Irish  Legion  in  the  service  of  France  organized,  to 
be  composed  of  infantry  regiments,  with  artillery  and 
cavalry  attached  to  it  This  Legion  was  to  be  completed 
on  landing  in  Ireland,  to  twenty-five  thousand  men. 
Our  commissions  or  brevets  of  officers  in  the  service  of 
France,  were  dated  the  /th  of  December,  1803,  and  on 
receiving  them,  we  had  orders  to  march  to  Morlaix.  We 
were  to  go  by  regular  etapes,  or  day's  marches,  or  if  we 

Irish  at  least,  should  have  joined  the  French  army,  and  fought  along 
with  it  during  the  expedition.  The  Irish  were  confident  and  full 
of  promises,  like  all  emigrants.  However,  there  were  some  amongst 
them  who  gave  no  great  hopes,  who  even  promised  no  effective 
aid  from  the  people." 

As  I  thought  M.  Thiers  could  not  produce  any  proof  of  his  asser- 
tion against  the  willingness  of  the  Irish  patriots  to  embrace  every 
opportunity  to  shake  off  the  Englisb  yoke,  I  wrote  the  following 
note  to  General  O'Connor  on  the  subject,  in  order  that  he  might 
remonstrate  with  M.  Thiers  on  his  false  appreciation  of  the  Irish 
refugees  in  France. 

"PARIS,  25th  July,  1845. 

"  DEAR  GENERAL, — I  have  just  been  reading  the  fourth  volume 
of  Thiers'  History  of  the  Consulate,  and  I  find  a  couple  of  pages 
respecting  our  intended  expedition  to  Ireland  hi  1803,  which  in 
case  you  may  not  yet  have  received  the  book,  I  have  copied  off 
for  your  perusal." 

The  answer  I  got  was  very  long — the  principal  points  were  as 
follows  : — 

"  I  thank  you  for  the  extract  you  have  sent  me.  I  am  just  be- 
ginning my  memoirs  ;  you  may  rest  assured  I  will  do  my  utmost 
to  vindicate  the  men  of  1796,  1797,  1798,  and  1804,  from  all  their 
detractors  in  France  and  in  Ireland." 

The  above  few  lines  from  General  O'Connor,  will  suffice  to  show 
how  keenly  he  felt  on  Thiers'  misstatement  concerning  the  Irish 
exiles  in  France. 


wished  we  might  take  the  coaches,  and  the  distance 
being  148  leagues,  we  had  twenty-one  days  to  make  the 
journey.  Hugh  Ware  and  I  decided  to  make  it  on  foot, 
as  we  should  be  the  better  prepared  for  campaigning 
after  such  a  long  march  in  winter.  Those  officers  who 
had  money  to  pay  their  places  in  the  coach,  could  spend 
fifteen  days  more  with  their  friends  at  Paris,  and  arrive 
at  Morlaix  the  day  fixed  by  the  "  feuille  de  route,"  or 
military  order  of  march. 

One  day  Mr.  Thomas  Addis  Emmet  read  me  a  letter 
he  had  just  received  (at  J^aris)  from  William  Dowdall, 
stating  that  he  and  John  Allen,  and  a  young  man  of  the 
name  of  Sandy  Devereux,  had  escaped  safely  to  Cadiz, 
after  many  risks  and  perils.  He  asked  me  questions 
about  Devereux.  "As  to  Allen  and  Dowdall,"  he  said, 
"  I  know  them  sufficiently  myself  to  answer  for  them." 
I  told  him  that  Devereux  was  one  of  our  hurling  asso- 
ciates at  Donnybrook  Green,  that  he  was  from  the 
County  of  Wexford,  and  employed  in  the  mercantile 
firm  of  Cornelius  O'Loughlan  and  Company  in  Dublin, 
that  I  did  not  think  he  was  committed  in  our  unfortunate 
affairs.  "  No,  but  you  see  by  this  letter  that  he  has  acted 
a  noble  part."  Young  Devereux  took  out  a  passport 
for  himself  to  go  to  transact  business  at  Cadiz  for  his 
employers.  He  went  and  left  this  passport  with  Allen 
and  Dowdall  where  they  were  hiding,  that  they  might 
endeavour  to  make  out  others  for  themselves,  and  to 
imitate  it  as  nearly  as  possible.  He  requested  them  to 
have  a  similar  one  to  theirs  made  for  him,  as  he  would 
destroy  the  original  passport,  lest  it  might  be  the  means 
of  discovering  the  false  ones,  and  that  he  would  take  his 
chance  with  them  through  thick  and  thin. 

A  Mr.  Cummings,  who  had  been  one  of  the  State 
prisoners  in  Dublin,  when  he  was  allowed  to  expatriate 
himself,  went  to  Cadiz  to  practise  there  as  a  physician. 
He  wrote  to  Mr.  Emmet  to  pray  him  to  obtain  for  him  a 



commission  in  the  Irish  regiment  in  order  that  he  might 
be  of  the  expedition  destined  for  Ireland. 

A  Mr.  O'Kelly,  an  officer  of  one  of  the  Irish  regiments 
in  the  Spanish  service,  being  at  Cadiz  when  Allen  and 
Dowdall  arrived  there,  wrote  also  to  Mr.  Emmet  that  he 
wished  to  make  part  of  the  French  army  to  be  sent  to 
obtain  the  independence  of  his  native  country. 

Mr.  Emmet  gave  the  names  of  these  five  gentlemen  to 
the  Minister  of  War,  recommending  them  as  true  Irish 
patriots,  and  immediately  commissions  of  sub-lieutenants 
were  sent  to  Cadiz  for  John  Allen,  William  Dowdall, 
Sandy  Devereux,  Dr.  Cummings  and  O'Kelly,  with 
orders  for  them  to  repair  forthwith  to  Morlaix,  where  the 
Irish  Legion  was  assembled. 

It  being  remarked  that  whilst  many  of  the  distin- 
guished and  meritorious  Irish  patriots  got  only  the  rank 
of  ensigns  and  lieutenants,  others  with  very  inferior 
claims,  got  that  of  captain,  the  highest  then  given ;  Mr. 
Emmet  remonstrated  with  the  Minist'er  of  War,  Berthier, 
who  promised  him  that  Adjutant-General  MacSheehy, 
charged  with  the  organization  of  the  Legion,  should  have 
precise  instructions  at  Morlaix,  to  report  to  the  War 
Office  on  the  subject,  and  that  he  might  rest  satisfied 
the  injustice  should  be  repaired,  as  soon  as  MacSheehy's 
report  was  received.  Some  of  the  injustice  was  remedied, 
though  not  for  a  month  or  two  later.  William  Barker, 
Pat  MacCanna,  Pat  Gallagher,  Valentine  Deny,  Augus- 
tm  O'Meally,  John  Sweeny,  Hugh  Ware,  and  William 
Dowdall  received  their  commissions  as  captains,  and 
several  sous-lieutenants  received  theirs  of  lieutenants  at 
the  same  time. 

Previous  to  our  leaving  Paris  for  the  coast,  a  young 
man  arrived  from  Dublin,  Terence  O'Reilly ;  he  was  the 
bearer  of  a  letter  of  introduction  from  a  Dr.  Sheridan  to 
Dr.  MacNeven ;  the  latter  had  just  time  to  present  him 
to  General  Dalton,  before  quitting  Paris  for  Morlaix, 


and  as  O'Reilly  spoke  French  well,  he  got  on  better  than 
others  at  the  War  Office.  He  got  his  commission  of 
lieutenant  in  the  month  of  January,  1 804,  and  joined  tEe 
Irish  Legion  at  Morlaix.  I  am  persuaded  that  he  did 
not  consider  it  a  triumph  to  have  obtained  a  higher  rank, 
and  to  be  placed  over  so  many  of  his  countrymen,  such 
as  the  following:  Paul  Murray,  Edmond  Saint-Leger, 
Joseph  Parrott,  William  Dowdall,  John  Allen,  and  many 
others,  who  had  only  the  rank  of  sous-lieutenants  at  the 
time.  However,  O'Reilly's  advancement  afterwards  was 
slow  indeed.  It  was  only  after  the  siege  of  Flushing  in 
1809,  where  he  distinguished  himself  in  the  Irish  bat- 
talion there,  fighting  against  the  English,  that  he  was 
recompensed  with  the  cross  of  the  Legion  of  Honour, 
and  later  he  was  named  captain  in  the  first  battalion  of 
the  Irish  regiment,  then  in  garrison  at  Landau,  near  the 
Rhine,  in  1810.  In  the  campaigns  of  1813  and  1814, 
O'Reilly  served  with  distinction,  and  he  had  the  good 
fortune  to  get  his  brevet  of  chef  de  bataillon  before 
Napoleon's  abdication  in  1814.  After  the  Restoration  of 
the  Bourbons,  and  the  battle  of  Waterloo,  Commandant 
O'Reilly  retired  to  Evreux,  where  he  finished  his  days. 
I  have  often  had  to  mention  him  in  my  notes  on  our 
campaigns,  and  I  trust  I  may  be  excused  now  for  this 
anticipation.  I  esteemed  O'Reilly  as  a  brave  and  an 
honourable  officer,  and  I  liked  him  as  an  obliging,  good 
comrade,  and  I  cannot  forget  that  he  was  one  of  those 
that  expressed  regret  that  I  had  not  obtained  my 
commission  of  Napoleon  of  superior  officer  before  the 
downfall  of  Napoleon. 

Not  being  encumbered  with  much  luggage,  my  effects 
were  soon  packed  up,  and  I  had  nothing  to  buy,  for 
every  article  for  the  equipment  of  the  officers  had  been 
sent  to  the  depot  of  the  Irish  Legion  at  Morlaix. 
Amongst  them  was  a  quantity  of  superfine  dark  green 


cloth,  sufficient  for  the  uniforms  of  1 50  officers,  and  as  our 
master  tailor  had  at  his  disposition  all  the  tailors  of 
Augereau's  army,  a  short  time  would  suffice  to  have 
then  made  up.  The  officers  were  advised  to  have  small 
portmanteaus,  not  weighing  more  than  fourteen  pounds, 
which  they  could  easily  carry  under  their  arm,  going  on 
board  the  Fleet  at  Brest,  and  also  on  landing  on  the 
coast  of  Ireland,  when  they  would  answer  as  pillows  at 
the  bivouac.  I  had  one  of  this  description  already,  which 
held  my  two  shirts,  stockings,  slippers,  etc.,  so  I  had  not 
to  buy  a  portmanteau.  Having  now  all  things  settled 
ready  to  set  out  on  my  march,  save  to  pay  my  farewell 
visits  to  those  dear  friends  whom  I  soon  expected  to 
have  the  happiness  of  meeting  in  Ireland.  Alas !  my 
expectations  were  not  realised. 

My  first  visit  was  to  Mr.  Thomas  Addis  Emmet  and 
his  amiable  lady,  his  son  Robert,  with  his  two  little  sis- 
ters, one  of  them  born  in  the  prison  of  Dublin, 
and  the  other  in  that  of  Fort  George  in  Scotland. 
Mr.  Emmet  kindly  enquired  of  me  about  my  money 
matters,  saying  that  he  had  received  another  remittance 
of  sixty  pounds  from  that  generous,  worthy  Irish  patriot, 
Lord  Cloncurry,  to  be  distributed  amongst  the  Irish 
refugees  who  might  stand  in  need  of  money.  I  had  to 
show  him  a  few  half-guineas  I  had  still  remaining,  to 
convince  him  that  I  had  sufficient  with  my  feuille  de 
route  money,  to  make  the  journey  to  Morlaix,  and  I  told 
him  I  owed  nothing,  etc.  He  opened  a  trunk  to  show 
me  two  bags  of  silver,  containing  Lord  Cloncurry's  re- 
mittance, which  he  had  just  brought  from  the  bankers. 
Mr.  Emmet  paid  me  some  compliments  on  the  saving 
way  I  had  lived,  and  then  we  embraced  and  separated, 
alas !  for  ever.  His  son  Robert,  about  nine  or  ten  years 
old  was  waiting  in  the  outer  room.  He  took  the  small 
cord  or  chain  from  his  watch,  and  asked  me  to  keep  it 
for  his  sake,  which  I  did  carefully  until  1813,  when  my 
baggage  fell  into  the  hands  of  the  enemy  on  the  Bober. 


Amongst  the  wives  and  daughters  of  the  other  Irish 
exiles  of  whom  I  had  to  take  leave  before  starting  for  the 
coast  in  December,  1803,  was  Mrs.  Tone,  with  her  three 
children,  two  boys  and  a  girl.  The  latter  was  a  fine 
grown  girl  of  twelve  or  fourteen ;  she  had  the  misfortune 
to  lose  her  and  one  of  her  sons  at  Paris  some  time  after. 
Fortunately,  her  other  son  lived  to  publish  his  heroic 
father's  admirable  Memoirs,  which  prove  to  the  world 
that  Ireland  would  have  been  a  free  country,  governing 
herself,  had  the  General-in-Chief,  Hoche,  been  on 
board  the  same  vessel  as  Theobald  Wolfe  Tone, 
in  the  Bay  of  Bantry,  on  Christmas  Day,  1796. 
Mrs.  Tone  was  in  every  respect  worthy  of  being  the 
companion  of  her  lamented  husband  She  was  very  well 
mannered  and  very  obliging  to  her  friends.  I  recollect 
in  1806,  when  our  regiment  was  on  march  to  Mayence, 
that  Captain  Barker  had  to  leave  his  son  Arthur,  then 
nine  years  of  age,  with  Mrs.  Tone,  who  kindly  kept  him 
nearly  a  month  with  her  own  children,  till  he  was  placed 
in  the  Irish  College,  where  he  finished  his  education  in 
1815.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Barker  were  ever  grateful  to  Mrs. 
Tone  for  her  kindness  on  this  occasion  ;  and  indeed  their 
son,  Mr.  Arthur  Barker,  though  so  young  then,  remem- 
bers being  the  playmate  of  Tone's  children  as  an  event 
not  to  be  forgotten. 

Though  Mrs.  Jackson,  the  widow  of  the  Reverend  W. 
Jackson,  one  of  the  first  martyrs  to  the  independence  of 
his  native  land,  had  but  a  small  pension  to  live  on,  still 
she  had  her  son  and  daughter  very  well  educated.  Mrs. 
Jackson  was  clever  and  well-informed,  and  her  children 
availed  themselves  of  this  advantage.  They  were  clever 
and  sprightly.  Miss  Jackson  was  married  to  a  merchant 
at  Havre.  In  1820,  Mr.  Warden  and  I  signed  a  paper 
for  her  to  obtain  a  passport  for  Italy,  where  she  went  to 
visit  her  mother  and  brother,  who  were  residing  at 


Of  all  the  exiled  Irish  ladies  in  Paris  in  1803,  poor 
Mrs.  Hamilton  was  the  most  to  be  pitied ;  she  had  heard 
of  the  melancholy  end,  the  trial  and  execution,  of  her 
beloved  uncle,  Thomas  Russell,  on  whom  she  doated, 
and  every  hour  she  feared  she  would  hear  that  her  hus- 
band had  shared  the  same  fate,  a  reward  being  offered 
for  his  apprehension.  It  appeared  impossible  for  him  to 
procure  a  safe  hiding-place,  or  the  means  of  escaping 
from  a  country  where  terror  of  every  description  was 
reigning,  with  martial  law  and  all  its  horrors.  However, 
William  Hamilton  was  not  sold  and  betrayed  into  the 
hands  of  his  enemies,  as  was  the  unfortunate  Russell. 

To  finish  my  visits,  I  had  still  to  call  on  Messrs.  John 
Sweetman,  Mat  Bowling,  Richard  MacCormick,  Edward 
Lewins,  Delany,  Dr.  MacMahon,  etc.  These  patriots 
were  stopping  at  Paris,  hoping  they  might  soon  be  called 
on  to  co-operate  in  their  civil  capacity  with  us,  once  we 
were  landed  in  Ireland.  Poor  Arthur  MacMahon  had  an 
attack  of  paralysis  the  day  before  I  left  Paris.  My  friend 
and  former  comrade,  Paul  Murray,  not  feeling  the  same 
activity  and  power  of  marching  that  he  had  when  we 
were  together  in  the  Wicklow  mountains  in  1798,  set 
off  for  Morlaix  on  foot,  the  day  after  he  received  his 
commission,  intending  to  take  the  coach  occasionally, 
when  tired  with  walking. 

Hugh  Ware  and  I  agreed  to  set  out  on  fwOt  and  to 
march  the  whole  way  to  Morlaix,  without  incurring  the 
expense  of  either  horse  or  coach-hire.  He  came  to  sleep 
at  my  lodgings  in  the  Rue  de  la  Harpe,  the  night  before 
we  set  off :  he  having  had  to  give  up  the  hired  furniture 
he  had  at  his  own  lodgings.  At  break  of  day  we  took 
our  little  portmanteaus  under  onr  arms  and  brought 
them  to  Mr.  William  Lawless's  apartment  in  the  Rue  de 
la  Loi  (Rue  de  Richelieu) ;  he  kindly  promised  to  bring 
them,  with  his  own  baggage,  by  the  coach  to  Morlaix. 
He  told  us  that  he,  MacNeven,  Sweeny,  Tennant,  Gal- 


lagher,  and  Lacy  had  retained  the  six  inside  places  of 
the  diligence,  or  stage  coach,  leaving  Paris  for  Morlaix 
ten  days  after,  and  we  might  be  sure  of  our  portmanteaus 
on  arriving  there. 

We  then  took  leave  of  Captain  Lawless,  who  was  still 
in  bed,  and  we  marched  off  to  Versailles,  where  Ware 
had  given  a  rendezvous  to  his  cousin  Joseph  Parrott, 
Captain  Maguire,  Lambert,  John  Reilly,  Fitzpatrick,  and 
James  MacEgan,  a  lad  of  fourteen  years  of  age.  After 
we  had  breakfasted  and  visited  the  chateau,  waited  to 
see  the  famous  clock  strike,  and  the  cock  turn  out  and 
flutter  its  wings — the  only  remaining  fixture  in  this  once 
renowned  palace,  the  scene  of  intrigue,  debauchery  and 
artificial  greatness — we  set  out  again,  to  make  another 
etape  (or  day's  march  and  halt)  on  the  road  to  Ram- 
bouillet,  where  we  got  billets  of  lodging  and  passed 
the  night. 

Hugh  Ware  being  an  admirer  of  country  scenery,  a 
judge  of  land  and  of  architecture,1  well  read  and  versed 
in  history,  it  was  a  great  advantage  to  me  to  have  him 
as  my  fellow-traveller.  He  would  wish  to  examine  every 
mansion  or  chateau  near  the  road,  and  tell  us  something 
of  their  antiquity  or  renown.  That  part  of  Normandy 
through  which  we  passed  to  Alen^on,  was  rich  and  well 
cultivated.  One  night  it  blew  a  terrible  storm.  Next 
morning  we  found  on  our  march  the  road  in  many  places 
strewed  with  fine  trees,  torn  from  their  roots  by  this 
whirlwind  We  said,  what  a  pity  that  the  expedition  was 
not  ready  at  Brest,  as  the  English  Fleet  must  now  be  off 
to  Torbay,  from  its  blockading  station  before  Brest 
It  was  after  such  a  storm  that  General  Hoche's  Fleet 
sailed  with  his  expedition  in  1796  for  Ireland,  and  pas- 
sing at  Rennes,  it  brought  to  our  recollection  that  he  had 

1  It  appears    from    the   State    Papers  that  Ware   was  a  land 
surveyor  by  profession.     (Ed.) 


his  headquarters  in  that  town  previous  to  embarking, 
and  that  it  was  there  that  he  got  the  proclamation  trans- 
lated and  printed  in  the  Portuguese  language,  by  a  priest 
of  that  nation,  in  order  to  baffle  the  English  spies,  who 
thought  in  consequence  that  Hoche's  expedition  was 
destined  for  Portugal. 

This  part  of  Brittany  through  which  we  were  passing 
reminded  us  of  our  own  country ;  the  climate  nearly  the 
same,  fine  pasturage  to  be  seen  on  every  side,  the  cattle 
generally  of  an  inferior  race,  cultivation  much  neglected, 
and  the  poor  people  only  beginning  to  recover  from  the 
bad  effects  of  their  civil  wars.  However,  our  journey 
continued  to  the  end  to  be  agreeable,  indeed ;  marching 
four  or  five  leagues  before  breakfast,  and  six  or  seven 
again  before  we  reached  the  town  where  we  passed  tne 
night ;  and  though  in  the  month  of  December,  we  had 
time  to  take  a  view  of  the  churches,  or  anything  curious, 
before  going  to  dinner.  We  remarked  that  the  country 
people  returning  from  their  fairs  and  markets,  generally 
had  taken  a  hearty  glass  of  cider  brandy,  and  their 
dresses  were  quite  different  as  we  approached  Morlaix. 
We  arrived  at  this  town  after  a  long  day's  march,  late  at 
night,  and  next  morning  paid  our  visits. 

We  had  the  satisfaction  of  again  meeting  many  of  our 
friends.  Lawless,  MacNeven,  and  the  other  officers  who 
travelled  by  the  coach,  only  arrived  the  day  before  us. 
We  got  billets  of  lodging.  Mine  was  with  a  Mr.  Prem- 
cour,  a  receiver  of  contributions,  by  whom  I  was  most 
graciously  received.  I  had  invitations  from  this  gentle- 
man and  his  lady  to  evening  parties,  which  was  a  great 
advantage  to  me  in  learning  French. 

My  valued  friend  Val  Derry  had  arranged  for  our 
mess  at  the  Hotel  de  France,  where  we  had  an  excellent 
table,  and  in  the  best  part  of  the  town,  near  the  bridge, 
on  the  quay.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Barker  lived  next  door,  and 
Thomas  Markey  was  just  arrived  from  Bordeaux.  He 


gave  us  a  splendid  account  of  General  Augereau's  army, 
with  which  he  had  been  on  the  frontiers  of  Spain.  It 
was  now  assembled  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Brest,  ready 
to  embark  for  Ireland.  The  adjutant-general, 
MacSheehy,  who  was  charged  with  the  organization  of 
the  Legion,  accompanied  us  to  the  magazine,  where  we 
received  our  swords,  epaulettes,  etc.,  and  he  gave  orders 
to  the  master  tailor  and  bootmaker  respecting  our  uni- 
forms. Five  days  after,  I  had  mine,  and  I  was  completely 
equipped  and  ready  to  embark.  General  MacSheehy 
was  exceedingly  busy  receiving  the  officers  who  were 
arriving  every  day  and  by  every  stage  coach  from  all 
parts  of  France,  and  giving  his  orders  to  have  them 
equipped  forthwith,  ready  to  embark.  We  were  truly 
glad  to  see  Allen,  Dowdall,  Sandy  Devereux,  Cummings 
and  O'Kelly  arriving  after  their  long  journey  from 
Cadiz.  Allen  and  Dowdall's  escape  was  fortunate  in- 
deed, for  the  state  of  Ireland  was  such  at  the  time  they 
were  hiding  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Dublin,  that  it  was 
thought  impossible  for  them  to  procure  means  of  getting 

Morlaix  was  the  rendezvous  of  the  Irish  exiles  in 
January,  1804.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Barker  met  amongst  them 
many  of  their  former  friends,  and  I  recollect  spending  a 
most  agreeable  day  at  their  house,  when  they  enter- 
tained at  dinner  a  number  of  the  officers,  such  as  Adju- 
tant-General MacSheehy,  MacNeven,  Lawless,  William 
O'Meara,  Mandeville,  Masterson,  O'Gorman,  Deny, 
Fitzhenry,  etc.  Captain  Barker  seemed  quite  happy  to 
have  at  his  table  that  day  officers  who  had  been  in  the 
Irish  Brigade  before  1792,  and  others  who  were  by  his 
side  at  the  battle  of  Vinegar  Hill  on  the  2 1st  of  June, 
1798,  where  he  lost  his  arm  fighting  for  Ireland's  rights. 
Our  evenings  were  spent  agreeably  enough,  and  our 
morning  occupations  were  highly  amusing ;  learning  the 
positions  of  a  soldier  without  arms,  marching  in  quick 


and  ordinary  time  ;  learning  the  manual  exercise  with  the 
musket,  etc.  We  had  the  best  French  instructors,  who 
told  us  we  should  in  a  short  time  be  capable  of  becom- 
vig  instructors  ourselves  to  teach  others. 

Unfortunately,  Adjutant-General  MacSheehy,  not- 
withstanding his  great  activity  and  talents  as  a  staff- 
officer,  was  not  equal  to  the  task  of  organizing  a  political 
corps  like  the  Irish  Legion,  composed  of  patriots,  all  of 
whom  had  suffered  in  their  country's  cause,  but  differing 
on  many  points  as  to  the  best  way  of  redressing  her 
grievances.  He  was  young,  and  wanted  experience  in 
Irish  matters.  The  narrative  in  the  following  volume, 
which  I  wrote  from  notes  that  I  kept  on  the  service  of 
the  Irish  Legion,  will  show  in  a  great  measure  why 
MacSeehy  failed  in  his  mission. 

My  friend,  Colonel  O'Neill,  being  engaged  collecting 
materials  for  writing  the  history  of  the  Irish  Brigades  in 
the  service  of  France,  until  they  ceased  in  1792,  asked 
me,  in  1837,  to  furnish  him  with  notes  on  the  organiza- 
tion, services,  and  campaigns  of  the  Irish  Legion,  and 
particularly  about  the  first  regiment  of  this  Legion  which 
had  been  so  much  distinguished  in  Spain  and  in  Ger- 
many, at  Flushing,  Astorga,  Lowenberg  on  the  Bober, 
Antwerp,  etc.,  down  to  the  month  of  September,  1815, 
when  it  was  disbanded  at  Montreuil-sur-Mer.  Nearly  a 
year  after  I  had  given  my  notes  to  Colonel  O'Neill,  I 
was  not  a  little  surprised  when  he  told  me  one  day  that 
he  was  going  to  get  them  published  along  with  a  small 
manuscript  he  got  from  Mr.  Warden,  on  the  affairs  of 
Ireland  in  1797  and  1798,  extremely  well  written,  as  in- 
deed everything  Mr.  Warden  wrote  was ;  it  was  relating 
to  the  period  he  was  concerned  in  till  he  escaped  to 
America,  I  observed  to  Colonel  O'Neill  that  my  notes 
were  not  prepared  for  the  press,  to  which  he  replied  that 
competent  judges  to  whom  he  had  shown  them  told  him 


they  might  be  published  in  the  shape  they  were,  and  he 
then  read  to  me  part  of  the  introduction  he  was  preparing 
for)  his  first  volume,  at  the  head  of  which  was  to  be  Mr. 
Warden's  work,  consisting  of  about  twenty  pages.  A 
few  days  after  this,  poor  O'Neill  had  a  slight  attack  of 
apoplexy,  and  in  consequence  his  physicians  ordered 
him  to  refrain  from  the  application  of  either  reading  or 
writing.  He,  however,  had  his  friend  Colonel  MacSheehy 
going  as  usual  to  the  archives  at  the  War  Office  taking 
notes  and  collecting  materials  for  the  history  of  the  Irish 
Brigades,  and  he  employed  my  friend  Mr.  Rafferty  to 
translate  all  these  notes,  for  he  intended  to  have  his 
work  published  both  in  English  and  French  at  the  same- 
time.  He  could  not  have  chosen  a  more  fit  person  than 
Mr.  Rafferty,  for  he  entered  quite  into  the  spirit  of  the 
undertaking,  like  a  true  Irish  patriot  as  he  was,  and 
though  he  had  a  situation  which  kept  him  very  busy, 
he  contrived  to  find  time  for  the  translation,  and  O'Neill 
was  sure  it  would  be  well  done,  as  Mr.  Rafferty  was  a. 
good  French  scholar,  and  he  wrote  the  English  lan- 
guage in  a  pure,  bold  style.  He  had  to  translate  also 
many  Latin  inscriptions  ;  for  Colonel  O'Neill  went  down 
into  the  vaults  of  the  churches  where  any  Irish  were 
buried,  in  order  to  copy  from  their  tombstones,  names, 
deeds,  etc. 

Colonel  O'Neill  was  at  great  expense  getting  notes 
from  the  archives  of  foreign  countries,  where  Irish  troops 
had  served,  as  he  intended  his  history  to  comprise  those 
of  Austria,  Naples,  Spain.  From  Spain  particularly  he 
had  got  some  very  valuable  documents,  through  his  cor- 
respondent at  Madrid,  about  the  three  Irish  regiments 
that  had  been  in  the  Spanish  service — Ultona,  Ireland, 
and  Hibernia.  A  friend  of  mine,  Captain  Canton,  who  had 
served  in  one  of  those  Irish  regiments  in  Spain,  being  at 
Paris  at  the  time,  also  furnished  Colonel  O'Neill  with 
many  notes  and  a  great  deal  of  information  respecting 


the  Spanish  army,  and  the  way  the  Irish  were  employed 
in  it 

At  the  Royal  Library  in  the  Rue  Richelieu,  Colonel 
O'Neill  got  the  gazettes  or  newpapers  of  the  reign  of 
Louis  XIII.,  in  which  there  was  mention  of  the  Irish 
then  in  the  French  army.  From  these,  and  the  military 
annuaires,  or  army  lists,  he  got  many  things  he  wanted 
to  aid  him  to  complete  his  biographical  history  of  the 
Irish  who  had  to  fly  from  their  own  country  and  learn 
the  military  profession  in  a  foreign  land 

Although  Colonel  O'Neill  was  prohibited  by  his  medi- 
cal adviser  any  serious  application  as  to  writing,  still  his 
work  advanced  under  his  direction,  and  he  wished  much 
to  see  it  printed  and  published  at  Paris  in  English  and 

About  the  middle  of  July,  1844,  we  had  a  most  agree- 
able visit  from  Colonel  O'Neill.  Alas!  it  was  the  last. 
He  came  to  invite  Mrs.  Byrne  and  me  to  dine  with  him 
and  spend  the  evening  at  Madame  de  Beaulieu's,  where 
we  were  sure  to  be  well  entertained.  He  was  in  high 
spirits  and  looking  extremely  well.  He  was  very  fond  of 
music,  played  on  the  flute,  guitar,  clarionet,  violin,  etc. 
etc.  Madame  de  Beaulieu  had  an  exceHent  piano.  This 
very  amiable  lady  was  the  daughter  of  one  of  Benjamin 
Franklin's  intimate  friends,  when  he  resided  at  Paris  as 
the  representative  of  the  United  States  of  America. 
She  used  to  show  us  with  much  pride  a  little  wax  figure 
which  her  father  had  got  made  of  this  great  statesman 
in  his  simple  dress  of  the  Republican  Minister,  and  some 
of  his  hair  was  carefully  preserved  and  put  on  the  head 
of  the  statuette. 

Poor  O'Neill  seemed  very  happy  that  evening.  He 
not  only  played  on  various  instruments,  but  sang  well, 
and  that  evening  sang  several  airs,  Mrs.  Byrne  accom- 
panying him  on  the  piano.  A  few  days  after,  he  was 
writing  a  letter,  when  he  felt  another  attack  of  apo- 


plexy ;  he  had  just  time  to  ring  for  his  servant,  fall  on 
the  floor,  and  bid  them  send  for  a  priest,  the  doctor,  and 
his  cousin,  young  O'Neill,  professor  of  mathematics  at 
the  College  of  Sainte-Barbe.  To  the  latter  he  gave  the 
key  of  his  desk,  saying,  "  When  I  am  no  more,  you  will 
get  my  will  there,  have  it  executed"  The  doctor  had 
everything  applied  which  is  usual  in  such  cases.  He 
then  left  him  with  his  confessor.  I  was  sent  for ;  when 
I  arrived  he  was  speechless.  He  died  in  the  night  after 
a  long  suffering. 

Young  O'Neill,  being  his  executor  and  heir,  had  the 
funeral  service,  and  indeed  everything  else,  honourably 
conducted.  Some  days  after,  poor  O'Neill's  savings, 
amounting  to  thirty-two  thousand  francs,  was  divided 
according  to  his  will.  To  his  man  servant  and  his  wife, 
he  left  six  thousand  francs,  all  his  clothes,  bed  linen, 
^ind  the  greater  part  of  his  valuable  furniture.  To 
Madame  de  Beaulieu  three  thousand  francs.  To  Colonel 
MacSheehy  one  thousand  francs.  To  Mr.  Barker,  five 
hundred  francs.  After  paying  the  physician,  funeral, 
church  service  expenses,  and  a  handsome  monument  in 
the  cemetery  of  Mont-Parnasse,  young  O'Neill  had  the 
remainder,  with  his  library,  and  his  study  furniture.  To 
me  he  left  his  sword  and  General  Foy's  Memoirs  in  four 
volumes.  To  Mrs.  Byrne  a  work  she  had  read,  but  re- 
turned to  him,  which  he  knew  she  would  like  to  have, 
as  the  author  of  it  was  an  acquaintance  of  her  lamented 
brother,  Francis  Horner,  at  Paris1  in  1814,  viz. :  Travels 
in  the  East,  by  Monsieur  Chevalier,  Bibliothecaire  en 
Chef,  or  Head  Librarian  to  the  Pantheon  Library  and 
the  College  of  Henry  the  Fourth.  M.  Chevalier  had 
been  tutor  to  Sir  Francis  Burdett.  He  was  the  friend  of 
Colonel  O'Neill.  Unfortunately,  this  work  had  been 

1  See  a  letter  from  Francis  Horner  to  Mr.  Dugald  Stewart,  in 
the  Memoirs  and  Correspondence  of  Francis  Horner,  Vol.  ii.,  p.  203, 
of  the  first  or  London  edition  ;  and  Vol.  ii.,  p.  196,  of  the  second 
or  Boston  edition. 


lent  to  some  one,  and  young  O'Neill  could  never  learn 
to  whom.  He  regretted  much  that  he  could  not  execute 
that  part  of  his  cousin's  will,  which  deprived  him  of  the 
pleasure  of  giving  Mrs.  Byrne  this  memorial  of  Colonel 

Young  O'Neill  brought  me  back  my  manuscript  notes, 
and  he  kindly  gave  me  poor  O'Neill's  portrait,  copied 
from  the  original.  I  told  him  if  he  intended  to  go  on 
with  the  work  his  cousin  had  begun,  I  should  be  happy 
to  give  him  all  the  assistance  in  my  power.  He  replied 
that  he  had  not  time  for  such  an  undertaking  then,  but 
that  the  papers  and  materials  collected  should  be  care- 
fully preserved.  He  was  highly  educated,  having  finished 
his  studies  at  the  Polytechnique  School.  He  was 
destined  for  the  artillery,  but  in  consequence  of  being 
short-sighted,  he  became  a  professor  of  mathematics, 
and  he  is  considered  one  of  the  first,  as  the  College  of 
Sainte-Barbe,  where  he  gives  his  lectures,  prepares  more 
young  men  for  the  Polytechnique  School  than  any  of 
the  others  in  Paris. 

I  was  very  glad  to  have  got  back  my  manuscript,  and 
as  it  had  been  carefully  read  and  revised  by  my  lamen- 
ted friend,  I  was  the  more  desirous  to  have  it  published 
one  day  along  with  my  Memoirs  of  what  I  had  witnessed 
in  Ireland  before  coming  to  France. 

Colonel  O'Neill,  after  reading  my  notes,  asked  me  to 
make  one  change  only,  which  was,  to  say  that  it  was 
the  Ministry,  and  not  the  Minister  of  War,  Clark,  the 
Duke  of  Feltre,  who  had  in  the  most  brutal  manner 
given  orders  in  1815  to  have  several  distinguished  Irish 
officers  arrested  and  sent  out  of  the  French  territory,  the 
land  of  their  adoption,  and  after  all  their  campaigns  and 
honourable  services.  I  was  sorry  I  could  not  comply 
with  his  request,  as  it  would  have  been  inconsistent  and 
ungrateful  of  me.  For  one  of  the  Ministers,  the  Duke 
de  Caze,  who  was  then  charged  with  the  police  of  all 


France,  allowed  me  to  stop  at  Paris,  in  order  that  I 
might  have  time  to  remonstrate  against  the  crying  in- 
justice of  the  Duke  of  Feltre,  the  War  Minister,  who 
persevered  in  insisting  that  I  should  quit  France,  and  so 
late  as  1817,  when  it  was  expected  at  least  the  persecu- 
tion of  the  half-pay  officers  had  abated.  Alas !  that  was 
not  the  case,  as  will  be  seen  in  the  biographical  notice 
on  General  Clark,  Duke  of  Feltre.  I  repeated  to  Colonel 
O'Neill  my  regret  that  I  could  not  make  the  change  in 
my  notes  he  desired. 

I  feel  it  necessary  to  mention  these  circumstances  now, 
because  the  second  volume  of  my  Memoirs  commences 
with  those  notes  on  the  organization  of  the  Irish  Legion 
in  the  service  of  France,  under  the  Consulate,  the  Em- 
pire, and  the  Restoration  of  the  Bourbons. 

END    OF    VOL.  I. 

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A     000  036  997     5